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ID Management: Technology Isn't Enough

Corporations that want to implement identity management gained another ally last month when Sun released Sun ONE Identity Server 6.0. Already featuring support for Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 1.0 and the Liberty Alliance Project 1.0 specification, Identity Server will support Liberty's 1.1 specification by the end of the first quarter. Equipped with these technologies, many companies are aiming to break down the frustrating boundaries inherent on the Web--and those within company walls--to managing user-access rights.

Because technologists "get it," they typically try to push organizations to implement identity management, but these same people aren't the ones with the political clout needed to pull it off.

Even though Sun Microsystems is providing additional tools to ease the adoption of identity management, don't be fooled into believing that Sun has the magic bullet. You need to understand that grass-roots efforts and technical acumen will not carry you through in this case. You'll need adequate funding and authority--in other words, buy-in from upper management that extends beyond signing the purchase order. Without organizational buy-in, you're doomed from the start, no matter what the technology.