How the Identity of Things will streamline the citizen experience
- By Daniel Raskin
- Mar 20, 2015
Without a sound and comprehensive identity strategy – and the tools to deliver it – agencies have no way to enforce regulatory compliance, secure systems or monitor users’ online behavior – whether it is through a laptop, mobile phone, tablet or wearable device.
Yet traditional identity management vendors are still having one-dimensional conversations focused on yesterday’s challenge, the internal user. And identity management continues to be based on monolithic platforms that use static rules to make decisions and are not designed to easily integrate with new applications.
However, Identity of Things (IDoT) platforms are now emerging to provide device-agnostic access, handle large-scale populations and make decisions based on context. Large and small government organizations alike are adopting IDoT for its ability to manage the digital identities of employees while keeping citizen users secure.
Accelerating online public services
Today, identity management platforms must cater to the pace of user demands. Unfortunately, government agencies have relied on traditional identity and access management (IAM) systems for years, cobbled together via acquisitions.
This made for unwieldy “product suites” that were overly complex, with redundant and incompatible capabilities. Niche IAM players created streamlined solutions to address specific problems, but without any overarching identity solution, agencies had no way to quickly and easily build and manage consistent user identities across departments.
IDoT requires a unified identity model. Its core tenet is that identity should be exposed in a single, repeatable way that makes it easy to roll out new services. The goal behind this principle is to provide new public services quickly, reducing the delivery time from years to just weeks.
At its core, IDoT uses identity to create a single, consistent panoramic view of a citizen across every department within an organization. It also uses data to build profiles that will help agencies engage with citizens more effectively and efficiently. Understanding who these citizens are helps governments deliver more relevant services and products.
All of this makes for satisfied citizens and opportunities to build out new online government services, while also preventing government data from falling into the wrong hands. Key features of an IDoT platform include:
- Real-time context to help an agency make access and security decisions
- A single overview of the user across the organization
- Personalized services based on real buying habits
- A common identity platform throughout the government agency to share valuable data across departments and unify security
- Modular and flexible architecture, to facilitate repeatable business processes, accommodate millions of concurrent users and devices and reduce typical deployment times.
In addition to making public services more efficient, IDoT will help solve online security issues as part of a robust, multi-layered security model. Real-time contextual clues in addition to credentials help government agencies vet whether to give access and how much. For example, when a system detects a login attempt with correct credentials, but from an unrecognized IP address or at an atypical time of day, the software triggers additional security precautions such as asking security questions or texting verification codes to a user’s cell phone.
Practical applications for IDoT
For many users, the DMV is the most laborious, inefficient government experience they’ve had: standing in long, unmoving lines and wading through reams of paperwork. That’s where IDoT platforms can help, allowing citizens to securely access their vehicle registration or drivers’ license information quickly and efficiently while avoiding long lines and unwieldy government applications.
IDoT can also alleviate security and efficiency woes when it comes to filing taxes, paying parking tickets, managing welfare services and health information, applying for schools and student loans, and conducting a wealth of other routine activities.
When citizens are empowered with quick, easy and secure self-service , they ultimately come away satisfied, the ultimate destination for an IDoT-driven agency.
Daniel Raskin is vice president of strategy for ForgeRock.