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January 22, 2009

Provisioning projects do pay: analysts

Compliance issues raise demand

By Jason Stamper

Access certification and compliance have replaced password management as the quick-win for enterprise provisioning deployments, a leading analyst group has judged.

In a new report on the 2009 market landscape for provisioning software, Burton Group has noted that Sarbanes-Oxley regulations and other compliance initiatives have thrust provisioning technologies into high demand.

Burton Group defines user provisioning as, “The integrated set of tools used to manage the lifecycle of user entitlements” and considers provisioning software as one of the cornerstones of enterprise identity management projects.

The products on the market today offer a lot more than user account and password management. The analyst maps a market in which the main vendors have developed their product lines along one of three go-to-market strategies.

Suppliers like Oracle and SAP push for deep integration into core business application sets like ERP and business intelligence.

The likes of BMC, IBM, and CA have tied it into service and change management toolsets and the development of the CMDB (configuration management database).

And from the security angle, a company such as Novell will promote deep integration with security information and event management, or compliance solutions.

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Lately the market has shifted its focus towards role management, Lori Rowland of Burton has found. “Organisations are seeking more sustainable methods to encapsulate and implement dynamic business, security, and access policies and roles are the construct of choice for many” she said.

Vendors have tuned their products accordingly, or fleshed out their portfolios with mergers and the acquisition of niche providers.

And against a backdrop of the fragile economy and cost-cutting, Rowland argues that provisioning systems can be justified by the operational efficiency and cost reduction benefits they bring, despite them mostly being installed as access compliance platforms.

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