imageOne of the hottest topics in IT these days is identity management. Sure, IdM has been important for a long time but with the advent and the acceleration of cloud computing, it’s taken a prominent position on the IT stage. There are a lot of issues that you need to consider with the new computing paradigms that we didn’t have to deal with before. But how do you figure out what’s important and what’s not?

Typically, you’d go do a Bing search and see what’s out there. That’s what I did. The problem I ran into was that there really wasn’t a lot of good information on identity architecture. Most of the information I found was very product specific, so the assumption was that you were already an identity architect and therefore you already knew about foundational issues and essential capabilities. Too bad for me, since I was not an identity architect.

So what was the solution to the problem? Since I work at Microsoft, why not take advantage of the fact that we have some pretty smart people who work as identity architects in Microsoft Consulting Services? That’s what my colleague Gaiana Bagdasaryan and I did – talk to the these architects who have had many years of experience architecting, designing, planning, deploying an operating identity management solutions.

The result of this effort is a collection of two papers:

The Four Pillars of Identity: Identity Management in the Age of Hybrid IT

Identity Infrastructure Capabilities: Identity Management in the Age of Hybrid IT

I think we did pretty good with these papers, at least for a start. But there’s still a lot of work to be done. These are architectural papers, so we tried to keep the amount of product and technology specifics to a minimum and focused on what the problems are and what capabilities are required to solve these problems. We plan to follow up on these by providing more information on Microsoft technologies that can be used to solve many of the problems you’ll encounter when architecting an identity management solution.

Let me know what you think of these papers and please feel free to share any ideas you have on how to make them better and what kind of information you’d like to see moving forward.

HTH,

Tom

Tom Shinder
tomsh@microsoft.com
Principal Knowledge Engineer, SCD iX Solutions Group
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tshinder
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