My Identity and Access Management (IAM) journey. Where is it heading…

Its been couple of years since I published any articles on my blog site.

I am in London this week and been busy with meetings and other activities around work all day. Also this week I will also be participating two Identity events where we get to see how our customers are adopting the products around Identity and Access Management.

Right now as I am enjoying some quiet time in my hotel room, which has an unusual setup because of the advanced controls, made me think how I have been spending my time at work and where identity and Access Management(IAM) heading. Is the latest trend in IAM solving specific business requirements and making our human lives better? I am thinking to myself where are we going with this trend? I am sure we all get these thoughts and we want to find answers. Thought I will start that journey today and see where that will take me.

I have been working as a Product Manager in the IAM space for the last 15+ years. Though the concepts around Identity and Access Management have stayed the same all these years, the evolution in technology has made us address the Identity and Access Management needs differently. Identity these days is not just limited to users alone. The devices and things (IoT) also have an Identity. We as humans want to track users, devices, and things through an Identity. We want to enrich, personalize our experiences and needs through Identity.  We want to share these experiences with others by enforcing access control around this identity.  As a result, we now refer to it as Consumer Identity and Access Management (CIAM).

Here is what my CIAM experience this week has been as I walked into the hotel. I was received by a computer terminal which asked me to enter my hotel confirmation number and my last name. It pulled up all my information which I had submitted when I had made my hotel reservation through the web couple of weeks ago. I was asked to confirm my information using my credit card. My identity was registered and linked to my credit card to it. Once the registration to the hotel was confirmed, I was asked to scan a hotel access card in a kiosk which assigned me (i.e my identity) a room number and enabled me access to that room. I take an elevator to the room, scan the card at the door and I am in. Not a single human interaction so far. In the room I see an iPad waiting for me to swipe. Once I swipe in, I can now switch on/off the lights, switch on/off my TV, close/open window blinds, switch on/off my AC and much more.


I was very excited to play with all these settings. I had not seen such a hotel room through all the travels I had done so far. I was also happy to see how the CIAM products that I was helping build was put into action as places like the hotel and room I was in. Soon I get the creepy feeling that the someone can watch me through the iPad camera as it is charging its battery. I immediately think of my privacy. I take steps to address my Privacy issues in my own room.

Two days have passed since I have been in this hotel and the room. I hate every bit of my experience. I miss my TV remote, the light switches, my privacy.  This makes me question, all this technology, and the gadgets in the hotel room, who is it really helping. Am I a happy consumer today? Does CIAM address my needs as a human?

More to follow in my next post…..


Posted on October 17, 2017, in Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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