A new year is a new beginning: a clean slate ripe with resolutions, goals, plans, and all the excitement that comes with the anticipation of the unknown. Quite literally “turning the [calendar] page” unveils endless opportunities: the innovative technology industry – including cybersecurity and identity and access management (IAM) – especially.
There’s no way to know for sure what will happen in 2024, but let’s take a crack at what could!
Prediction 1: More wood behind the arrow
In 2023, we laid out some predictions we expected in IAM (and then recently graded them). Overall, there is clear evidence of momentum in identity markets. Gartner and other industry experts are publishing research and reports, because customers are looking to solve challenges in their own environments1. IAM solutions haven’t kept pace with the changing needs of modern businesses, especially in the dynamism they demand. Based on last year’s activity however, it’s clear that there isn’t a Big Bang; Rome wasn’t built in a day - as they say - and the maturity of identity solutions to solve evolving customer needs does not happen overnight.
In 2024, we’ll see more refinement in areas we called out in 2023. The identity space is hot2, and while there will no doubt be new entrants and offerings, we expect this year to bring more firepower to the advancement of IAM products. As customers’ approaches to Identity-First Security, Zero Trust, and Zero Standing Privilege as frameworks mature this year, products will be enhanced to better align, which will drive more investment and development, which will help inform the ways customers address their initiatives, and the flywheel continues.
Prediction 2: Developers will be a Force Multiplier for IAM…Leading to a Greater Need
Authentication and Authorization solutions are the key areas of focus that decide Access Management. They are not new arenas, yet as applications have become more decentralized, and cloud adoption continues to grow, so too do needs and use cases. Historically, IAM solutions may have been homegrown, customized to an organization’s specific applications and unique requirements. Not long ago, the IAM industry followed suit with what was seen in other markets and have taken a service-based approach to access management. This outsourced, cloud-based approach has left some gaps in the tailor-made perspective previously taken. Nowadays API’s are king (and queen), supporting integration, but with greater guardrails than previous environments allowed.
Especially in Authorization, developer-focused technologies and standards like OPA, Transaction Tokens, OSO, Cedar, Open FGA, and others will reinvigorate a community of technical leaders – which will expose a burning need for more centralized authorization management.
a burning need for more centralized authorization management
Prediction 3: Expansion always; in all ways
A short while ago, we were seeing economic conditions, investments, market returns, and value multiples never before approached. It stands to reason that there would be a time of correction, and while a worldwide pandemic was not a common prediction, it no doubt served as the negative catalyst to the financial stability that endured. The past couple of years have encouraged new ways of working, supported by novel forms of productivity and remote connectedness. These new priorities themselves have created opportunities for new organizations to create and innovate.
2023 showed signs of investment (including here @ SGNL3), growth, and mergers/acquisitions activity. In 2024, expect to see acceleration in these fields4, as well as a return to public offerings by organizations wisely taking advantage of the new world…and that includes AI.
Prediction 4: AI continues to lead the charge
Technically it was late 2022 when ChatGPT was released to the public and over a million people used it in the first five days. Its arrival kicked off a flurry of AI activity throughout the past year that has pushed ML and LLMs into the [more] common vernacular, and left every organization in each industry asking “what is our play in AI?”
Expect to see MUCH more of the same in 2024: AI will be the most common tagline, marketing pitch, value prop, “keyword”, and product + signage presence for all things technology, especially at industry events. Conference breakouts, product roadmaps, enhancements, releases, and growth will accelerate in their AI inclusion in the coming year…and it’s not stopping in 2024…and it’s not unique to IAM. (This includes blog posts, by the way.)
If we look at it through the lens of a baseball game (ie: nine innings), we’re only in the second inning of AI development and adoption.
only in the second inning of AI development and adoption
Prediction 5: IAM Standards will be solidified
Ever wonder why your Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, _______ device can connect to Wifi regardless of which company manufactured it? It’s because of Open Standards, and the lack of proprietary solutions to benefit the industry as a whole. This drives more innovation, a bigger and better ecosystem, and more scrutiny (aka: detailed peer reviews and analysis).
IAM has started to see some momentum with Standards in the past year, and in 2024, they’ll be strengthened and stabilized. Exciting recent developments like CAEP/Shared Signals will become more hardened and widely accepted to drive transformation in the Identity market(s). Newer standards like AuthZen and Transaction Tokens will mature and modernize authorization as it develops and gains contributors. It is said that a rising tide lifts all ships, and we’ll see Standards help to lift IAM this year.
we’ll see Standards help to lift IAM this year
Most of what we predict this year will be going deeper, maturing, continuing with efforts that have already been introduced in cybersecurity and specifically across Identity and Access Management. That is not to say it’s uninspiring or banal, however: I for one am fired up to be a part of an industry that is especially top of mind and ever-evolving.
Here’s to continuous success and development in 2024: I hope you’re as excited as IAM (😉).
1 As of 2023, IAM is the second-most-popular topic of discussion by Security & Risk Management leaders who use Gartner’s client inquiry service.
2 per Gartner’s latest forecast, the identity and access management (IAM) market worldwide is expected to grow from US$15.61 billion in 2021 to US$31.99 billion in 2027.
4 Already seeing M&A activity via Mimecast and Elevate Security: https://www.mimecast.com/resources/press-releases/mimecast-acquires-elevate-security/