2018 Prediction: The IDaaS market matures without a clear leader

January 9, 2018


The market is ready for an Identity-as-a-service leader – but you wouldn’t know it from the conference topics.

This year’s Gartner IAM Summit has the usual mix of beginner introduction sessions and advanced forward-looking material (Blockchain!).

What wasn’t covered to a great degree is Identity-as-a-service (IDaaS). Sure, there were sessions covering specific cloud providers, but discussion around identity cloud technology was brief. There were no sessions evaluating the IDaaS market in totality either, nor sessions discussing cloud migration for IGA. Gartner sill has IDaaS in the corner, waiting for its “time out” to end.


One might be able to forgive this omission, as the market for IDaaS is quite fragmented today. Not only do multiple vendors offer different feature sets with little overlap – there is no established view of what qualifies as IDaas.

There are:

  • Niche players such as Savyint, trying to expand market share with a unique view of IDaaS.
  • Established providers such as SailPoint trying to parlay success on-prem into IDaaS
  • Narrow feature products such as Okta trying to figure out how to stay ahead
  • On-prem, enterprise only players such as Forgerock seek to make an entry into the market
  • Behemoths such Microsoft and Amazon looking to make identity a seamless add on to their existing offerings
  • Oracle (¯\_(ツ)_/¯…?)

Also troubling is the indication that many of the smaller vendors are choosing not to compete in certain areas – SailPoint dropping SSO from IdentityNow, for example.

As organizations will start to consider replacing their first or second generation on-prem IGA solutions with cloud providers over the next five years, there is an opportunity for a vendor to define this space and set its boundaries. SailPoint did this with IGA around 2012 and set the industry standard for the next five years as organizations were beginning to replace and consolidate legacy provisioning systems. My 2018 prediction however is that there will still be no “SailPoint” moment in IDaaS.

Conversations with conferees indicate that this is sorely needed. I spoke to one attendee who wasn’t aware of the limitations many existing IDaaS solutions have – he was under the impression that all his on-prem features could be accommodated in a cloud offering. What will more likely be the reality is that a variety of best-in-breed cloud offerings will need to be combined into a cohesive whole. Here is one example stack:

  • Azure AD for SSO and Directory
  • IdentityNow for Governance and Provisioning
  • ServiceNow for catalog and request management

Orchestrating the activities of these cloud offerings will claw back some of the benefits of going to the cloud, but for organizations with flexibility, adopting cloud technologies should save them money and time in the long run.

Perhaps in five years the market will be ready for a “SailPoint” moment in the cloud finally – and at that point, be sure to email me about Identity Blockchain-as-a-service.