A Quick Look Back As We Rev Up the Tour Bus for 2017

As I write this in early April, we’re just under one month away from our Identity  Live Summit coming up in Austin, Texas. You may have seen our announcement last week that we’ve released a new version of our flagship ForgeRock Identity Platform. We also slipped in a mention that ForgeRock had exceeded $100 million in sales in calendar year 2016, the first time in the company’s seven-year history that we reached nine figures in sales over a 12-month period. Important milestones for ForgeRock!

When ForgeRock sprang to life in 2010, the identity space was dominated by established players (Oracle, 2017 market cap $180 billion; IBM $160 billion; CA, $13 billion), which collectively presented an extremely daunting barrier to entry. How do you compete with tech giants that have a stranglehold on the global enterprise market? You out innovate them, outthink and outwork them, and deliver amazing value for customers!

The other side of the coin is innovation – developing identity technologies that don’t just meet market need, but enable enterprising companies to leverage identity to develop entirely new services, products and offerings. Had we entered the market with a “me too” product that simply matched what the IBMs, Oracles and CAs had on offer, we would have failed. Of course, that’s not how we roll.

Prior to 2010, identity and access management systems (IAM) were regarded as tools for securing data, applications, and services within organizations; in most cases identity was seen as a security tool for businesses to manage access for employees. In fact, because of their high cost and the complex IT resources need to run them, IAM solutions were usually implemented only within large, well-funded companies. This dynamic has changed – identity is now widely used in for-profit and public sector organizations of all sizes. What has been slower to change, however, is the employee or internal nature of most identity implementations. Even with new players in the space (Okta, Ping, etc.), IAM implementations most often still follow the organization > employee paradigm.   By the way – congratulations to Okta on a tremendous IPO last week!

Here’s where ForgeRock breaks the mold. From the beginning, the ForgeRock platform has been used primarily in customer-centric implementations. In fact, the majority of the billion+ identities supported through the ForgeRock platform today are customer, not employee identities. And with our latest release – which includes many new customer-friendly features including social sign-on and user privacy controls (think GDPR!) – we further established the ForgeRock Identity Platform as the most advanced digital identity management system on the market today for all types of identity use cases for people, devices and things.

Indeed, as much of the industry struggles with the shortcomings of conventional employee-centric IAM offerings, the demand for customer identity and access management (CIAM) continues to accelerate. The ForgeRock platform has been proven in hundreds of external identity deployments for customers, and IoT deployments where highly scalable digital identity is critical to success. That dynamic will continue to grow with the launch of the new platform, as will ForgeRock’s dominance as the leader in digital identity management.

To wrap up: ForgeRock reached the new sales milestone – along with a record high number of individual identities secured (people, devices, services, and things) – as demand for our solutions soared, spurred on by the accelerating growth of the internet of things, (IoT), and the increasing need for privacy and consent solutions for regulations such as the EU General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR).

In fact, the fast-emerging IoT is reshaping concepts of personal data privacy and the types of security that organizations must provide to protect customers, end-users, patients and citizens – their data and their devices.

In my next post, I’ll outline why the IoT is an important megatrend that is likely to reshape life as we know it in a multitude of ways… and why identity is the essential security technology for making it all work (hint: it’s about the relationships!).

See you in Austin!