Identity and access management (IAM) will undergo a series of key changes over the next few years, particularly around the development of smartcard authentication, identity-aware networks, hosted IAM and out-of-band authentication.
"There is a continuing need in this time of economic uncertainty and budgetary constraint for cost-effective, risk-appropriate IAM methods," said Ant Allan, research vice president at Gartner.
"This includes growing demand for identity-aware networking, host-based and service-based IAM offerings, and the search for protection from increasingly effective malware attacks against consumer accounts."
Although relatively unheard of today, the research predicts that hosted IAM and IAM-as-a-service will account for 20 per cent of IAM revenues by 2011, as the platform moves from software-centric delivery models to composite services models.
Driving this evolution is the potential to reduce the costs of implementation and use, and prepare for a more mature production-centric approach to delivering IAM as a service, thereby allowing customers to focus technical planning and delivery on less mature feature sets, such as access and intelligence.
However, Gartner warns that organisations looking at IAM-as-a-service should take a gentle approach, extending existing systems rather than significantly upgrading in a single sweep.
While hosted or managed IAM is set to rise, a fifth of smartcard authentication projects are expected to be abandoned, and 30 per cent scaled back in favour of lower-cost and lower-assurance authentication methods.
Although smartcards are generally regarded as a very secure and effective method of authentication, managing the cards and the associated desktop infrastructure is relatively expensive. In the current economic environment, this cost may be seen as prohibitive, prompting companies to consider cheaper alternatives based on risk, end-user needs and total cost of ownership.
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