The Trouble With Identity in a Cloud World [Video]

steveid

The issue of identity is beyond challenging online, but so far, few have come up with good solutions to help a single real-world person adopt multiple personas for business, personal and other aspects of their lives online. There’s the issue of online networking and commenting, as well as signing into enterprise applications hosted by a cloud provider that also hosts your personal email. Plus, there’s a whole group of content providers that want to use your identity to ensure that when you buy an e-book or a digital movie, you can’t share it with the online masses. Those entities want your identity associated not merely with an email or a password, but also with a device.

With so many identities, online services and agendas, UnboundID — an Austin, Texas firm that makes software used by both large cloud providers and telecommunications firms — is trying to view identity as a fluid concept and as one that scales. Steve Schoaff, CEO of UnboundID, is trying to remake the concept of enterprise identity management and build software that makes tracking identity work across millions of users as opposed to thousands of users as well as be flexible enough to track IDs across a variety of platforms from Google to your telecommunications service provider.

Will it work? Many have tried to become the keeper of online identity, but for the most part, the market is still fragmented. UnboundID has an advantage in that it works with several cloud providers such as Google and VMware to create a standard to help track identity across different clouds. The software is also used at some telecommunications firms to provide identity management across multiple devices. I’m not sure I agree with Schoaff, who maintains that a telco is the best company to keep a person’s identity, but he makes a case in the video interview above that could become the next rallying cry for service providers trying to avoid becoming commodities and seeking some way of profiting off their relationships with customers.

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