I’m very excited to see Patrick Harding from Ping is blogging – he’s always got great conversation starters.
I’d like to continue a conversation which Patrick started with his entry entitled “User-Centric Identity Within the Enterprise” – Patrick made the following points about user centric identity, and stated that he is trying to go past technology issues, to underlying definitions, and relate those definitions back to an Enterprise employee world. You need to read the whole article – don’t depend on the bullets, but this is the gist:
- User centric implies user control
- User centric implies self asserted information
- User centric implies user choice of identity provider
- User centric implies simplicity and SSO
- User centric implies identity for Web 2,0
- User centric implies user privacy
I suppose the question is what it exactly it means for ‘user centric’ to imply something. Obviously use of a user centric technology is not limited in any of the ways that Patrick has described – at least with information cards, it is perfectly possible to build a tightly controlled set of RPs that are locked down to a single Identity provider serving managed data only, and heaven knows that its possible in general to use user centric technology to create things that aren’t simple, don’t do SSO, have nothing to do with Web 2.0, and in no way respect the privacy of users. But to run with Patrick’s idea of looking at the value of popular user centric tenets with respect to the Enterprise, I have a few thoughts.
- User Control
- Perhaps it is true that most companies will be doing the choosing with respect to what data is sent where — however, the same features that aid user control also could serve an Enterprise belief in transparency.
- Self-Asserted Information
- Self-asserted information is already commonly used in Enterprises – it is just called “profile self-service”. Most Enterprises I visit are very busy trying to set up interfaces for employees to self-assert address changes, name changes, and so on in order to reduce help desk overhead, so I’d have to say that there is a place in the Enterprise for this concept.
Hopefully this is a useful and construction addition to the conversation – I look forward to many more along this vein now that Patrick is around.