Over the past few months we’ve been talking about the differences between Identity and Access Management (IAM) and Identity Relationship Management (IRM). We’ve spent a good deal of time highlighting the technical differences, but the most important difference is in mindset.
Whereas IAM is about security and protection of who has acces to enterprises IP and resources, IRM is about extending enterprise reach securely to enable more and more revenue driving relationships.
Understanding this mindset difference is critical because it shifts our thinking from identity as an annoying technical infrastructure necessity to to identity as a business critical enabler of new services that drive revenue and business value.
The faster and easier it is for organizations to build relationships across an unlimited number of devices, the easier it is for them drive rapid adoption of existing and new services.
Having an agile, low cost way to implement identity across web, mobile, social and cloud applications is a business differentiator that affects time to market and how you quickly disseminate information and services to customers, prospects, and partners. The IRM mentality gives you a leg up on your competition.
In short, talking about how identity is an essential foundation to how a CEO/CIO meets business objectives is a much more important discussion than why you need millions of dollars to securely provision users to a new technical application being rolled out. One conversation gets you a front row seat at the management table. The other is pushed off down the hall to the geeky guy that focuses on that annoying “identity thing.” Which one’s preferable to you?