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The Identity Ecosystem Emerges

Those who joined us at the fourth plenary of the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group (IDESG) in Santa Clara, California may have sensed an imminent emergence – the Identity Ecosystem Framework rising after an initial growth period in the fertile soil of working groups and committees, getting ready to spread its wings and eventually to fly.* The two-day meeting opened with remarks from the newly elected leadership team and a presentation on a formal work plan for the IDESG to guide its work in establishing the rules, policies, and standards that will constitute the identity Ecosystem Framework.  Importantly, the work plan asked: “What must the IDESG accomplish in 2013?” Paul Laurent of Oracle led an exercise that identified five key, short-term objectives to drive activity in 2013:
  • Establish and Implement an IDESG Self-Sustainment Plan
  • Establish and Implement an IDESG Accreditation and Trustmark Program
  • Implement IDESG Accreditation Program for at least 2 NSTIC Pilots
  • Establish Defined Liaison Relationships
  • Establish and Implement the Identity Ecosystem Framework Development and Adoption Process
The NPO agrees that focusing on these core objectives in 2013 will constitute major progress toward establishing the Identity Ecosystem, as well as  demonstrating the value of the IDESG.  A use case workshop led by Cathy Tilton of Daon helped to further focus the work by providing important context for the development of IDESG components such as standards and best practices.  The Plenary is expected to further focus and refine actionable use cases in the near future.    Presentations from the NSTIC pilots only increased the sense of impending emergence – in some cases, actually taking flight very soon in important segments.  Pilots presented on details of their real world progress to date and on important lessons learned.  For the pilot presentations materials, please click here and scroll down the agenda to select a presentation.  If there is one lesson to be learned from these pilots, it is that their collective experience only underscores the need for a robust Identity Ecosystem Framework.  It’s been remarkable that as the five pilots, all different, have collectively progressed, they also all have dealt with struggles because of the lack of such a Framework – forcing their participants to sort out a number of thorny technical and policy issues on an ad-hoc basis.  In the days and weeks leading up to Santa Clara, we posted a series of blogs about these issues, which we dubbed “Common Considerations.” The pilots discussion at the plenary provided an excellent place to air these issues, and reinforced the need for an Identity Ecosystem Framework that can help the pilots and other fledgling efforts in the Identity Ecosystem to become truly scalable.  Day two of the Plenary started with Kim Little of LexisNexis presenting on a proposed business plan, laying out options for a path to sustainability as the IDESG in 2014 transitions operations from a NIST-funded entity to a truly independent and self-financing organization.  Plenary participants then broke out in Committee meetings to continue crafting Identity Ecosystem Framework components, before rejoining in a closing session of the entire Plenary.  Between concrete work plans, tangible evidence of the Identity Ecosystem emerging in NSTIC pilots, and with a vision for long-term continued success, the Santa Clara Plenary left participants with the clear sense that the patient start-up work of 2012 is now beginning to yield tangible results for the organizations and individuals engaged. We appreciate your feedback, and continued participation.  The next in-person meeting of the IDESG is set for July 24-26 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, hosted by MIT.  *Yes, our mind is on the impending cicada invasion here in Washington.


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