Just when you think the IAM market is about to settle down for a long winter’s nap, you are proven wrong, as evidenced by yesterday’s announcement that Quest has acquired BiTKOO. This acquisition adds BiTKOO’s externalized authorization management product –Keystone – to Quest’s stable of IAM technologies. With this latest market movement, there are three things to note.
First, this acquisition is a sign that externalizing authorization is becoming more mainstream. Yes, this isn’t the first time an EAM vendor was acquired (see disastrous acquisition of Securent by Cisco), but this is the first time an EAM company was acquired by a company who really got identity. In order to have made an investment, Quest had to have seen that the EAM market grow and be more easily addressed. I think one of the ways the EAM market will grow and thus EAM be more commonly found in IAM architectures stems from the need to protect assets in SharePoint2010. This is a problem for all organization and not just the traditional EAM buyers – financial services and military and intelligence organizations. Quest has an opportunity to bring externalized authorization to the masses, especially if they target SharePoint and the surrounding problems of data and access governance.
Second, it will be interesting to see what Quest does with the core of BiTKOO’s technology – its XACML-based authorization service. Beyond simply offering Keystone as an authorization service, Quest could do some interesting things by more closely tying the IAG capabilities acquired from Voelker. I’ve written about the value of stronger ties between IAG and EAM tools and I expect the market will see continued progress in 2012.
Third, Quest is assembling a formidable brain trust. Doron Grinstein, BiTKOO’s co-founder and CEO, is a sharp guy, whose ability to explain EAM via Visio is unrivaled. He and his team join Nick, Eckhard, Jackson, and Jonathan. Quest better stock up on dry erase markers and buy more whiteboards – the brainstorming sessions this crew will undoubtedly have in 2012 will be epic.
By the way, I’ve been doing a bit research related to externalized authorization management. You might want to check out my recent report, “Achieving Greater Control Over Authorization.” Also be on the look out for two more reports available early next quarter; one report focuses on combatting policy sprawl and its implications for IAG and EAM tools, and the second report part of our Reference Architecture and focuses on how to select an authorization mechanisms.
Yes, the IAM market never sleeps, but I hope you get a bit of a rest this holiday season. See you in 2012!