IRM: Where is the Relationship?


Posted by Steve Shoaff on 6/4/14 5:11 AM

It's an exciting week for Identity Management with the Identity Relationship Management Summit taking place in Phoenix, Arizona USA. First, and for the record, I'm a big fan of the IRM movement. The recognition that Consumer Identity Management is fundamentally different than Employee Identity has been a long time coming. Consumer Identity is a strategic asset, key to improving customer experience, loyalty and engagement. It's also an important ingredient in growing revenue. Consumer's Identity data is key to creating more contextual driven and valuable interactions. The IRM movement encourages me because it gives voice to my long held belief that the Identity Management discipline has more to offer this world than reducing cost, complexity and risk management for employees. Consumer Identity is the emerging intersection of the IAM, Master Data Management, CRM, Big Data and IoTH movements. Identity really is the connective tissue for all these IT mega trends.

But where is the "Relationship" in IRM?

Today's digital consumers are overwhelmingly worried about the privacy of their personal data online. More specifically, consumers are concerned about what's happening with their personal data. Consumers will loyally engage with a business they trust and abandon those they don't. This sounds like a "Relationship" to me. Humans crave relationships. Relationship is strengthened by trust and familiarity built over time. The same is true for our digital relationships. Permission, preference and privacy of consumers' personal data are inextricably tied to building online relationship with the consumer. Regrettably, these realities are missing from today's IRM movement. Here is a quantifiable analysis:

"Pillars of IRM": Zero word counts for privacy, permission, preference, personal or personal data. Worse, the only context of "data" in these pillars is company data, not a consumer's personal data.

IRM Summit Agenda: Zero word counts for permission, preference, personal or personal data. There are no focused sessions on leveraging permission, preference and privacy management of personal data when creating context driven engagements with a consumer.

Therefore, I would call on all the participants at this year's IRM Summit to challenge the industry and each other to focus on the consumer's primary concern: the use, management and protection of their personal data. We will fail to evolve the IAM industry in ways we all hope without this focus.

I'm afraid failure to do so could instead re-define the IRM movement as an opportunistic attempt by vendors to re-monetize legacy, employee designed Identity Management assets in a consumer world: Identity Revenue Management.

Topics: Consumer Identity and Access Management