When Geoffrey Moore, first wrote his book, "Crossing The Chasm" in 1991 it became an instant success among marketers, and remains so today. They resonated with the deep gap in customers and companies who are willing to try any new technology and those who felt they needed to wait until a broader segment of their industry had a positive experience with it. The concept and how to transition over that gap was a unique way of identifying and helping companies, especially startups, get over a significant hurdle.
So, I am baffled by Geoffrey’s latest venture, the User-Centric IT Initiative. While I certainly applaud the concept, I hardly think that it is revolutionary enough to consider it an initiative. CIOs and their departments have been treating corporate users as their primary audience for some time. Making an enterprise more productive certainly means making the employees more efficient and with the least friction from the IT department. While there are many technology projects out there that are striving to streamline IT (security, networks, data centers, storage just to name a few), the ultimate goal, as always, is to measure success in terms of the impact on employees and business users. You can read the case histories in trade publications to see this trend began around Moore’s first publication.
Identity Management User Experience
This movement is no longer new and it is continuously evolving over time. Avatier, identity management, was one of the first proponents of user-centric IT: initially with self-service password reset where employees could handle most of the issues around password management by themselves, to the introduction of the first IT store over six years ago for user provisioning and access management.
The store, with its intuitive and familiar user experience is designed to put the business user at the center of software and hardware access requests and management. Originally, the goal wasn’t to streamline the IT identity management operations, although it certainly did that, but to save the end user precious time getting access to what they needed. Today, the goal includes from any device, browser, and mobile platform. While Avatier was certainly one of the first to assume this approach, the Identity Management industry has assumed this focus for several years now.
According to Geoffrey, "It’s no longer about the best or the most cost effective technology stack—it’s about the technologies that make the information worker most productive". The goals of his group are to:
- Serve the business by empowering people
- Adapt to the way people work, not the other way around
- Enable people, information and knowledge to connect in real time
- View mobility as a work-style preference, not a device, and
- Make security inherent and transparent to the user experience
Identity Management Next Generation
Frankly, I would be surprised, if not shocked, to think that anyone reading these goals haven’t already articulated them and are working with all five goals in mind. Is it because identity management companies have penetrated enterprises so deeply that they realized some time ago that they held the means and the power to make this happen? Perhaps. But come on Geoff, don’t you think this chasm has already been crossed? We do, and we have.
Learn the role IT automation and business driven self-service administration play in creating lean operations. KuppingerCole’s Assignment Management — Think Beyond Access describes the shift in IT operations from tightly controlled identity management processes to workflow enabled administration.