The Four Pillars of Identity–Identity Management in the Age of Hybrid IT

imageIdentity management used to be a relatively simple matter. You set up an identity management system based on one or more identity repositories, you enter user names and passwords into the identity repository system, you create groups and populate them with user accounts and then you configure your applications and services to use that system and away you go. If you wanted to get “sophisticated” you might do things like require users to change their passwords on a periodic basis and maybe go crazy by requiring some level of password complexity.

Fast forward to the second decade of the third millennium. Enterprise identity management has become increasingly complex because there are so many systems that tie into separate identity providers that are managed in-house. And then there are the partners who need to access your data and the customers who also need some level of access. How are you going to handle all those identities that aren’t even under your control? And what about hybrid IT, where you have to deal with on-premises identities and identities provided by and managed by public identity providers, all of which have variable (and perhaps questionable) levels of assurance and trust?

The first thing to do is sit back and take a deep breath. Before diving into the brave new world of identity management in the age of hybrid IT, the best thing to do is get a good grounding in the basic principles that drive a coherent identity infrastructure. This is where our new whitepaper “The Four Pillars of Identity” come in. This paper is based on interviews with the brightest minds within Microsoft services and reflects their decades of experience on envisioning and crafting holistic identity management solutions. These four pillars provide the foundation for any well architected identity management solution.

Want to learn more? Then check out “The Four Pillars of Identity – Identity Management in the Age of Hybrid IT”. We have two versions for you:

Read “The Four Pillars of Identity – Identity Management in the Age of Hybrid IT” online in the TechNet Wiki

Download “The Four Pillars of Identity – Identity Management in the Age of Hybrid IT” from the TechNet Gallery

Please let us know what you think of this paper and what information on this topic you would like to see in the future. We plan to update this white paper on a regular basis as the topic of identity management in Hybrid IT progresses over time.

Also, there is a companion white paper that you might want to read after this one titled Identity Infrastructure Capabilities-Identity Management in the Age of Hybrid IT. You’ll be glad you did!


Tom Shinder
Principal Knowledge Engineer, SCD iX Solutions Group
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