Deconstructing Identity Management Innovation

Deconstructing Identity Management Innovation

This blog is dedicated to the innovator in everyone.

No one ever starts a company, leads a department or runs an IT organization to embrace the status quo. But do you ever wonder how Steve Jobs became the world’s most recognized and prolific innovator of the 21st century? What secret intellectual sauce, innovation did he and other founders and CEOs of game-changing companies possess when their business ideas forever changed life as we know it? A few years ago, my research on the topic, as it relates to identity management, led me to a book called THE INNOVATOR’S DNA, where I found that an innovator’s secret sauce is not wholly due to birthright, genius, divine intervention, magic or luck. That’s good news for most of us. What innovative entrepreneurs and executives consistently do, however, is engage a set of five skills that set them apart from ordinary managers: ASSOCIATING, QUESTIONING, OBSERVING, NETWORKING AND EXPERIMENTING. I’ll briefly review the first two in this post and take up the others in subsequent blogs.

The first of the five skills, ASSOCIATING, refers to the ability to make connections across often unrelated questions, problems or ideas. The “associational thinker” can then identify and link together combinations of problems, ideas or observations to produce new business ideas.

Posing questions that challenge the status quo is yet another skill mastered by successful innovators. A passion for QUESTIONING (measured, of course, by the number and nature of questions asked) to uncover new insights and possibilities provides a solid background for discovering opportunities and new business ideas. Our customers, by the way, have already tapped this skill, having questioned their former identity and access management implementation in an effort to improve productivity and IT cyber security effectiveness.

So, how does this map back to you, me and identity management? For me, building identity and access management solutions means CREATING the bar, rather than just SETTING it. Looking for ideas, often from other industries, that can be used to create more value and efficiencies in the identity and access management market. For you, it may mean achieving the goals of your operation through new and totally unexpected ways. In any case, looking at the story behind specific innovations can be fascinating and well worth a quick read. Subscribe to our blog to read more on this and other compelling identity management topics.

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Written by Ryan Ward

Ryan Ward is CISO at Avatier, responsible for security initiatives as well as strategic direction of IAM and security products. A sixteen-year veteran of the security industry, Ward comes to Avatier after five years with MillerCoors where he served as Enterprise Security Manager of the brewing company and USA Information Security Officer for the public company SABMiller. In those positions Ward was responsible for all Information Security initiatives for MillerCoors. Prior to MillerCoors, he served as Senior Information Security Leader at Perot Systems while supporting the Wolters Kluwer account. He previously held the position of Vice President of Information Systems for Allscripts. Ryan is also a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).