I recently completed a move into a newly-built home, my first (and hopefully only) experience with building a home. In all of the chaos of getting things done, it struck me how there are similarities in moving and the IAM market. Yes, I know you can make analogies about almost anything, but stay with me here. Some things I noticed:
1- Many times when people move, they get rid of things they don’t really need or won’t fit their lifestyle or decor in the new home. For a vendor that wants to “move” into a new area of IAM, there may be some hard decisions to be made about what doesn’t fit any more– an existing product set, a legacy suite that, while it makes money for them, doesn’t really fit the look and feel of the new offering. For customers, moving from a manually-dominated process environment to an automated one may mean taking a hard look at the way the processes are done, and getting rid of or redefining them to use the new IAM solutions they acquire effectively;
2- Labeling. Ah, labeling. If you don’t label your boxes when you move, it’s difficult to find anything. For a vendor, failing to effectively deliver the right message about their product and what it is capable of doing usually means difficult times ahead for the vendor and the client. A particular problem I see is the failure on the part of vendors to transfer the knowledge of what an optimal organization should look like that fully exploits the product– this is sad, and has contributed to a number of problems. For customers, telling the story about what is happening to the business, “labeling” the role IAM plays in each of their lives, continues to elude most enterprises. This too is sad, since there are countless use cases, blogs, advisory columns, even analysts that can help them with this issue;
3- Hiring the right mover to move is everything. It doesn’t matter if you’ve packed and labeled well, if you get a bad mover, they can methodically destroy a lot of valuable things during the move. For a vendor, having a good integrator partner that represents them is vital to success– it often makes or breaks an IAM implementation. For a customer, that decision is also critical, as is the nature of the relationship between all three– vendor, integrator and customer. And by the way– if the communications between them aren’t “labeled” properly, that wreaks havoc in the move— uh, installation;
4- Have everything done before you move into a home– don’t get eager and move in while they’re still building around you. It’s distracting, it’s messy, and it doesn’t help your productivity. (I know this because I didn’t follow my own advice here). For vendors, don’t release a product that has the wrong or inadequate features to do the job. Worse, don’t allow a customer to start production with your solution if you haven’t finished configuring it or teaching them the optimal use of the product. For customers, don’t rush it– while you want to have some structure and automation in your life, believe me– it’s better to do it right than to do it over.
5- Keep track of your costs. The entire suite-vs.-best of breed debate hinges quite a bit on the costs of things, and the number of people you will have to pay, and of course how much. For vendors, quit trying to walk the fine line between excess profitability and the relentless march of products to commoditzation. For customers, demand more for your money, because you haven’t gotten the value from IAM that was originally touted–yet.
This sounds much like the same kind of advice we’ve been giving for years– and it is. It makes you wonder why we have to keep repeating ourselves, doesn’t it? Just like people have been moving into houses for hundreds (if not thousands) of years, it seems like everyone needs to learn from their mistakes rather than the mistakes of others. In any event, enjoy your new home.
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