The future is now, the past is history

In December, I left my job of 14 years to start on this new path. I have always sought complex, developing, ‘frothy’ environments to work in – I’m a kind of mental adrenaline junky. I love working in areas where things are still developing, nobody knows which way things will settle out and the arguments and debates are heated, opinionated and pointed.

The current wave of identity management fits the bill.

There are many big problems needing solutions in this space – but (as has been pointed out in many forums by many different people) it all comes down to Trust.

In the Trusted Identity Federations space, trust is needed for Relying Parties to open the gates and externalize identification, client data origination and authentication.

At this stage of evolution, this is a pretty big leap of faith, not an extension of trust. Many different pieces need to come together to make the risk of effectively outsourcing their customer databases worth the benefits of offloading the work of enrolment. Where does the balance have to be to make relinquishing end to end control of the customer experience worthwhile?

The Identity industry is working on technical and policy trust elements. Governments are working on citizen-focused service delivery. Consumers are demanding convenient shiny stuff. Electronic health records, fraud resistant entitlement delivery, disruptive services, mobile everything: all are promised as solutions to that which ails us.

So: what will it take for trust to take hold? will it be a killer app? will it be a big industry hitting one out of the park? will it be ‘electronification’ of today’s identity infrastructure? will it be a consumer-driven revolution? will it be something so obviously trustworthy that companies, consumers and governments will fall over each other getting on board?

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