Six trends are apparent among the proposals submitted for presentation at the 2023 Identiverse conference, say conference organizers who have summed up their findings in the first Identiverse Trends Report: identity everywhere; reusable identity; accelerating business; death of passwords = long live authentication; more emerging technologies; and a developing profession.
With the trends report, Identiverse aims to "provide insight into the priorities of leaders, executives and digital identity professionals to inform your digital identity strategy for the next 12-18 months."
"Identity is now everywhere, enabling safer, more private, more efficient experiences and interactions for customers and citizens online, and increasingly, in the physical world as well," says Identiverse Conference Chair and Head of Strategy and Content Andrew Hindle in his introduction to the report. "Digital identity is critical infrastructure for the 21st century."
Top among the trends and the overall theme of this year's conference is identity everywhere, which the report says is apparent in the "significant progress worldwide in enabling citizens to more easily demonstrate not only their 'identity,' but also to discretely share information about themselves ... in security and privacy-preserving ways."
A new report from CyberRisk Alliance Business Intelligence found that 62% of security and IT executives and managers surveyed were focusing on "connect anywhere" technology, and 56% hope to use it to make the customer experience better.
Soon, the Identiverse trends report says, you'll be able to create a digital identity that can be used across multiple services and accounts instead of having to create a new identity with each new account. This reusable identity will be implemented through federated identity management, as already used in many organizations.
The report also cites "a resurgence in activity around non-person entities" such as "connected vehicles, legal entities like businesses, smart sensors for both industrial and domestic applications" and machine identities. But it doesn't shy away from what the report admits are "important ethical questions around diversity and inclusion, access and digital exclusion, privacy and regulatory balance" around biometrics.
Identiverse says that among the presentation submissions, it's "excited to see an increased focus on business rationales and outcomes," and that as a result a greater share of conference talks will likely feature the topic of accelerating business.
"The identity layer is foundational to successful digital transformation projects," adds the trends report, "and we're now seeing conclusive data to support that."
Death of passwords = long live authentication
Safety and security have long been at the heart of identity and access management, and indeed the trends report states that "indications are that there will be a renewed focus on access control, entitlements, and permissioning over the next few years."
In keeping with the trend of the death of passwords equaling better authentication, the Identiverse report also celebrates the deployment of passkeys, the Apple-Google-Microsoft system that lets you log into websites with a smartphone instead of a password.
We ourselves have had some trouble using passkeys — and the report hints at "the successes and learnings of early deployments" — but there's no denying that passkeys will be a major step toward a passwordless future.
The Identiverse Trends Report also notes "the rise of identity threat detection and response (ITDR) as a critical tool in the cybersecurity kit bag," part of a "recognition that identity data in and of itself also needs careful protection."
"Keeping employees, customers, and their data safe is no longer simply a compliance check-box," the report reminds us. "It's a business imperative, and if it's not done well, customers will take their business elsewhere."
More emerging technologies
Digital identity has always featured technological and business innovations, the report notes, "but we're seeing more activity in this area than we have for a few years," a sign of more emerging technologies. The Identiverse report cites "significant developments and investments in areas like identity orchestration, API protection and privacy-related technologies, as well as some consolidation and related M&A activity."
That jibes well with a forecast by digital-identity consulting firm Liminal, which estimates that the total addressable market (TAM) of the reusable-identity sector alone could amount to $266.5 billion by 2027, a huge jump from the TAM of $32.8 billion in 2022.
A developing profession
As indicated by the Liminal forecast, specializing in digital identity is clearly a developing profession, which the Identiverse trends report says is "growing at an astounding rate."
"A healthy profession," says the report, "is vital to support the growing demands of business and consumers for better and safer digital experiences."
The Identiverse Trends Report's conclusion says portable digital identity is not only a sound business practice, but a customer-experience revolution that can grow business. And it warns organizations against failing to keep up.
"The opportunity to get digital identity right is just that — an opportunity. Winners in their respective markets will seize this chance to outperform their competition," it says. "Identity really is everywhere. Let's see what it can do for us."
For greater insight into the future of the digital identity industry, please consider attending the Identiverse conference in Las Vegas from May 30 through June 2, 2023.