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Omada 2021 Predictions: Six Identity-Related Trends for 2021

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

Six Identity-Related Trends for 2021

By Morten Boel Sigurdsson, founder and president of North America, Omada

The advent of large-scale remote work was perhaps the most obvious effect of the 2020 pandemic, but the ramifications for business spread far and wide. Many of them pointed to the need for stronger cybersecurity, and the issue of identity governance and administration (IGA) came to the forefront as corporate network perimeters extended to include employees' homes. This places an increased burden on the IT team, who now have more endpoints to manage and more identities to keep track of. And the events of this year have set up a number of trends moving forward.

The hybrid cloud dominates - Over 75% of midsize and large organizations will have adopted some kind of multi-cloud or hybrid IT strategy by 2021, as Gartner recently predicted. It is therefore safe to also say that the majority of IGA sales will be cloud-delivered in North America in 2021. There has already been a noticeable jump in SaaS-based IAM and IGA solutions being purchased to support the hybrid cloud environment that many adopted in response to the pandemic. Cloud purchases are likely to continue on that trajectory.

IGA protects the brand - More and more, CISOs will recognize that IGA is a core component or platform to protect the organization's brand and to minimize company and personal liability.

Automation of identity management - For many, the new normal of remote home working will be permanent. This mean organizations need to rethink their fine-grained access model. The current models of identity access management, especially when it comes to legacy IGA products, aren't made for this setup. Getting a better handle on the fine-grained policies that need to be implemented for a long-term remote set-up can be the foundation for introducing automation of identity management and provisioning. With that work in place, modernizing IGA and reducing the need for human intervention through automation will be key needs in 2021. Companies will need to seek an IGA solution that can govern that granularity on a daily basis.

Digitizing the supply chain - Given the widespread remote nature of work, supply chains will need to be digitized, and these efforts will be powered by cloud-based IGA platforms to govern access. This demand is being seen across industries but more significantly within manufacturing.

Kiss legacy IGA goodbye - Several legacy solutions are about to run out of time; they will hit the wall and/or go out of service in 2021. Legacy solutions can't meet their business requirements anymore, and companies will find these products are no longer supported as the need for digital transformation intensifies. This will drive demand for modern cloud-based IGA solutions to replace legacy products.

Agile takes hold - In the past, many projects were thought out and delivered as one huge rollout with a lot of customization and coding. In 2021, 70% of all new projects will be implemented using an Agile, phased approach based on a configurable, modern platform. This model is an iterative approach where companies build value and crunch small chunks of deliverables, rather than one large deliverable after a year of work. That type of plan won't hold water anymore as clients increasingly want measurable value at a faster pace.

What remains the same in our ever-changing world is the need for adaptive cybersecurity. This includes IGA as organizations adopt multi-cloud and long-term remote work models. Cloud-based and automated approaches to IGA, in particular, will be a welcome replace to manual, legacy tools. They will relieve the burden of IT teams while creating greater brand safety and stronger identity across the organization and all of its clouds. 


About the Author

Morten Boel Sigurdsson 

Morten Boel Sigurdsson is founder and president of North America, Omada. He has more than 25 years of experience providing innovative IT related services and solutions for large global organizations. His work experience includes a background with SAP and A.P. Moller Maersk.

Published Wednesday, January 13, 2021 7:40 AM by David Marshall
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