Blogger: Kevin Kampman
When I became involved with the role management industry about four years ago, it was a tiny and highly specialized market, tainted by difficulties and the potential for failure. This was due in part to its focus on access related information, particularly for role mining. In order to improve role management’s probability of success, it was clear that something needed to change. The solution was to associate business responsibilities with access rights.
About this time, I became familiar with Bridgestream and its founder, Ms. Juanita Lott. Unlike its competition, Bridgstream’s product architecture was very HR-oriented and incorporated business structure and responsibilities into the solution. This was a result of her previous HR background with a software development firm. She had a vision to address the shortcomings in organizational management tools, and turned to role management as a viable solution to address the association of resources and responsibilities. Although her involvement in Bridgestream has diminished, her influence is noteworthy.
Today, the playing field is much more level. Role management vendors all acknowledge the requirement to address business responsibilities and their alignment with technical privileges. Additionally, role management is integrally aligned with identity management solutions, a perspective that also evolved as the market became more established. In our research, role management projects are much more likely to succeed as a result of their engagement with the business community.
The potential acquisition of Bridgestream by Oracle has been a rumor since early this year. Acquisitions in the identity management space are common, but unknown for role management, until now. The Bridgestream acquisition underscores the growing importance of roles as part of a comprehensive identity management solution; it is certain that we will see additional attention to and expansion of these capabilities. At this point, it is fitting to recognize the pioneers of role management and their respective organizations. They all had a vision for role management and have seen it through to fruition.