Last week I was in Colorado for the Defrag and Blur conferences. Defrag bills itself as ‘the premiere thought leader discussions about “what’s coming next” in technology’. And it certainly lived up to the billing, as I attended some great talks from folks like Paul Kedrosky, Jeff Ma, Ray Wang, Jay Simons and Jeff Lawson. And Blur was simply inspiring, especially hearing Bre Pettis talk about truly game changing technology and being able to see first hand some of the innovation happening in human computer interaction.
Eric always does an outstanding job curating content and speakers for his conferences. It was no different this time, but what was different was that Eric felt it was time for Identity to make its way back into the Defrag conversation. He explained why in this blog post. Consequently you had Kim Cameron talking about the emergent need for Identity Management as a Service. And in arguably one of the best talks at Defrag, Ian Glazer waxed poetic about ‘Killing Identity Management to Save It‘. His assertion that the lowly comma is probably still the single greatest identity invention to date not only got the crowd laughing (and gave me the premise for one of the better slides in my deck), but also perfectly captured just how stuck in a rut identity management is today. He made the case for a revolution in identity management by revisiting the models and architectures of the past (and present), and talked about the need for identity to become a part of the fabric of enterprise applications, instead of being a separate entity that lives in a static, disjointed world.
All of which fed neatly into the talk I gave on ‘The IDaaS Powered World, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love IAM (Again)‘. I wanted to lay out the vision of a future built on identity services, and what it could mean for interactions in the online world when we truly embrace externalized identity (aka Bring Your Own Identity), a platform approach to identity usage, and cloud-based identity management. You can check out the slidecast (slides + audio) below.
The talk was really well received, giving rise to some good discussions both online and at the conference, and I’ve captured some of the reactions here. And I’d like to think it gelled nicely with some of the other, non-identity themed talks at Defrag that focused on the new ways of building applications and experiences online. The vision expressed in my talk is a driving influence in how we are approaching building the SCUID Platform at Identropy, so it will be great to get your feedback in the comments. So chime in with your thoughts.