Traditional identity was based on the principle that organizations store data in a centralized repository and use things like LDAP or SAML to pull and share identity attributes. From a “markchitecture” standpoint this made for very pretty pictures with simple connections to a single data store containing all identity information. In reality, this approach doesn’t work.
Enterprises today are much more complex and store data in all kinds of repositories across many different business units. As it becomes increasingly important to understand identities and their actions in real-time, it likewise becomes more and more important to offer more flexible ways of pulling identity attributes from across an organization. The more data you can leverage the smarter your identity platform becomes.
Whether it involves pulling from a database, ESB, or API, identity platforms must evolve to include centralized attribute hubs that can be used for identity relationship management. This is where the importance of an identity platform comes into play. With a platform you can leverage all products to pull attribute data from a broad list of resources. You can use your access management solution to query data from directories or SAML-enabled applications. You can use identity management connectors to pull from databases, ESBs, or cloud services. You can use gateways to query mobile apps or APIs.
It is invaluable to have a common way of leveraging data for your customer-facing apps. You can use this data to create a richer experience, use real-time data to ensure better security, and create a unified customer profile. In short, it gives you a platform that can utilize all your identity data, in order to offer richer services that blow the customer’s mind.