Thursday Jan 29, 2009

'Government' is not a four letter word

In certain circles 'Government' is a dirty word.  Amusing then to watch those financial chaps running back to Government for help.  However in a brazen display, worthy of Dick Turpin, they have put a new perspective on the phrase 'Tax is Theft' by themselves making off with our tax euros! Public subsidy, private profit.  Lovely.

In Identity circles the Government sector presents interesting challenges.  Some of the issues we see in the government sector that come up are federation, scalability, compliance and usability.

  • Federation is key for government because they have requirements to federate user identity and data across different government organizations--the department dealing with your health care data is not the one managing your driving license.  Here is a nice description of one EU federation use case.
  • The scalability issue arises due to the size of the user population (think of China!).   For example, most of the provisioning solutions on the market have grown out of enterprise scale deployments--moving up to scalability levels for government deployments requires innovative techniques and architectures.
  • Compliance is key because governments, in principle, are subject to more stringent laws on managing information about people.
  • Usability is key because we can make no assumptions about the nature of the user's knowledge.  In an enterprise we can ensure everyone has taken the 'Managing your Profile' training. We cannot do this so easily with 60 million users.  Internationalization, for example, is something that must be addressed up front, not as an afterthought.

The EU appears to be trying to get it's multiple heads around 'identity' as part of the eGovernment program.  There, you can find a link to their 'eIDM' roadmap.

Well I look forward to some fun POCs with the Sun Identity Management products in response to EU eGovernment RFPs!


Blog name could be better

In which Rob reflects on the quality of his blog name.[Read More]
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