Identity Management In The Cloud?

Identropy Inc., a company that focus on identity management, began offering managed identity services a couple of years ago. Looking ahead, the company will expand its services to include a private cloud offering that moves identity management infrastructure off premise. Here are some details.

In late 2007, Identropy announced a managed service that monitors and manages a customer’s on-premise identity management systems. The service essentially provides an ongoing maintenance program and relieves organizations from having to commit FTEs.

Identropy’s managed identity services focus on provisioning, password management, and role management, noted Ash Motiwala, the company’s chief technology officer. The company’s soon-to-debut offering, dubbed the Secure Co-sourced Unified Identity Platform, takes those on-premise elements and puts them in the cloud.

The identity management functions are handled by virtual appliances. Motiwala said those appliances are location independent so they can operate in the cloud or in the customer’s own infrastructure if they prefer. This approach lets customers pick and chose what they want to outsource: they could keep role management in house and put provisioning in the cloud, for example. Identropy employs its managed identity services to monitor the appliance wherever they may be deployed.

Motiwala said the virtual appliances provide an alternative to on-premise implementations, which he said can cost $250,000 in software and perhaps four times that amount in services. He said a less taxing deployment method is needed to crack the mid market, companies with 2,000 to 20,000 employees.

“Traditional implementations are way to complex and costly,” he said.

As for competition, other managed services providers tend to target authentication, rather than the broader field of identity management. Motiwala said Wipro has an identity management solution, but provides physical appliances for customer-site deployment.

Also of note: Novell's Intelligent Workload Management (IWM) strategy includes identity and security management for physical and virtual systems located on-premises or in the cloud, according to Chief Marketing Officer John Dragoon.

It will be interesting to see whether customers push identity management to the cloud.

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