1) What are some of the biggest questions and opportunities in digital identity and authentication today?
I still believe that the biggest opportunity in digital identity is in the consumer space. On the whole, privacy controls are still often overlooked and there is a general lack of security around the emerging consumer device space. Enterprises want to get to know their customers better, and consumers want to have a simple user experience. Balancing between Security, Privacy and User Experience is still the biggest challenge that most digital identity systems are faced with today.
If you ask this same question, but in the context of enterprise computing, I would say that the biggest challenge is still reducing the number of accounts, and wrestling with how to manage accounts that have now moved to cloud SaaS based applications. Shadow IT has been rapidly onboarding and consuming cloud services and now organizations realize that they need to have a broader strategy so that the user experience of accessing cloud applications is improved, but also access is removed when needed.
2) Why should digital identity and access management be a major focus for businesses in all industries?
It is our experience that identity and access management is not limited to a particular industry or vertical. It is applicable to all, but implemented in different ways between industries. It is a foundational component of a successful digital transformation strategy. The use cases are going to be different between industries, but the fact that identity and access management is foundational means that everyone is doing it, whether or not they have actually called it out as a separate initiative or staffed their operational teams specifically for identity and access management. The main point is that it must be done. It must get attention for organizations to successfully transform their business. It doesn't matter if you are the latest social network or online business that is going to market to support an API Economy, or if you are in retail and trying to up-sell and cross-sell to your customers, or if you are in health care and trying to reduce wait times for patients, or if you are in banking and need strong online security, or if you are in utilities and require managed access to control systems. All of these scenarios require identity and access management to one degree or another.
The major problem that we see when IAM doesn't get direct focus is that because everyone needs it, everyone does it differently and builds their own identity and access management silo. This happens within enterprises, across government departments, business units moving to cloud services, and is also really prevalent in companies that have grown through acquisitions. This leads to multiple credentials and accounts for an individual, which leads to security vulnerabilities and a poor user experience. This is why it is important to focus on a strategy around identity and access management, so that both security and user experience are enhanced.
3) In your experiences, what have you determined as the most appealing aspect for businesses looking to implement digital identity and authentication systems?
Simple: profit! The ability to either make money or reduce costs (with the more compelling reason being to make money) while improving the user experience. Identity and Access Management is moving out of the traditional enterprise and product vendors have been giving a lot more focus to customer and consumer user communities. The ability to know your customer and know the relationships that your customers have. To understand the relationship between consumer and devices is extremely powerful for those in retail, telecommunications, home care, healthcare and even the utilities verticals.
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What Attendees are saying
“The only conference in Canada where one can meet the who’s who of knowledgeable people and champions of digital identity to discuss the real issues and opportunities in this space.” Dave Nikolejsin, Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines at Government of British Columbia
“A fantastic platform bringing together Canadian thought leaders and key industry experts to promote innovation in digital identity and authentication.” Mike Vanderkaden, VP Corporate Development, Equifax Canada