Have you ever stopped to count the number of ID’s and passwords you use? I bet everyone reading this has more than twenty five. I bet many of you have more than fifty and and if you really count everything, you will likely surpass one hundred. Sound far fetched? Count them. I know someone approaching two hundred. When I asked them how many they had, this person opened a spreadsheet and said, “I have 172 IDs and passwords”. That floored me on so many levels.
Needless to say all of those IDs and passwords are connected to a wide array of account types, devices, spending limits, confidential data, roles, responsibilities and more. Storage of this type of information has been a challenge for years. Your view of the challenge can depend on your responsibility for it. None of us take this lightly.
This discussion broke out again late last month as we started to release information around the Identity features of Windows Azure. On May 23rd Kim Cameron, a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer, blogged “Identity Management As A Service”. This is an excellent set of information that discusses the new service-based models that are emerging.
John Shewchuk, a Microsoft Technical Fellow, also posted “Reimagining Active Directory for the Social Enterprise (Part1)” the same day. In that post John discusses the use of Active Directory in the cloud. For those of you using Office 365, some of the information will be familiar but there is new information on the development that has been taking place with Windows Azure Directory Service (WAAD). John’s next post, “Reimagining Active Directory for the Social Enterprise (Part 2)” got the attention of Mary-Jo Foley and she wrote “With Azure Active Directory, Microsoft wants to be the meta ID hub”.
The discussion is certainly starting to pick up steam. Kim Cameron published another piece called “There is no hub. There is no center.” In that post Kim makes the point that “Shared” is not the same as “Central”. There are many cloud operators.
There is quite a bit of information to read, digest, and think about. We invite you to the discussion.