Identity management market remains badly fragmented

The market for identity management is crowded with point and multipoint solutions and is sorely lacking in end-to-end solutions for heterogeneous networks, newly published research from Yankee Group has revealed.

According to the report, entitled Identity Management Market Still Fragmented, the high volume of accounts and complexity of access control have created a $2.4 billion market for products and services providing authentication, single sign-on, user directories, self-service portals and access provisioning.

Only four vendors, IBM, Microsoft, Sun and Computer Associates, come close to providing an effective solution the study warns.

"The disappointing absence of an elegant identity management solution is a mirror of the disparate access control mechanisms in use today," said Phebe Waterfield, Security Solutions & Services analyst.

"Standards such as SAML and XACML are maturing slowly, however, the Yankee Group predicts true end-to-end identity management systems that link users to network access and enforce consistent access control policies all the way to the source of information: The applications and platforms will appear by 2005."

Waterfield added that regulations are increasingly putting pressure on enterprises to verify and demonstrate to auditors the efficacy of their identity management processes. These regulations include HIPAA, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Yankee Group found that the most common business drivers behind identity management initiatives are to reduce technical support overheads and improve the efficiency of application and system access.

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