The Future of Identity and Access Management

Evolution of Identity Management

Identity and Access Management solutions and tools must change to keep up with technological changes. We look at several paths IAM might take in the future.

Identity and Access Management products and tools have undoubtedly experienced massive changes since the turn of the millennium. From computer units working in isolation, to today’s myriad of interconnected devices, Identity and Access Management has to account for so many more factors today.


Managing the security and access to our accounts and devices will undoubtedly get harder and harder. Modern innovations, like biometric authentication and block chain technology, can further augment the nature and form of IAM tools. How will IAM handle these changes? This article looks at the future of IAM and the possible paths it could take



Just about everything has been shifted to the cloud-based solution. Google was one of the first to shift its data to a cloud base, developing Google Suite to allow users to easily navigate their set up. Given the off premise nature of cloud services, it is only natural for traditional on-premise IAM tools to have to adapt to this shift to cloud servers.


As such, IAM systems have taken traditional Active Directory services and modified it to provide a cloud based solution. Essentially, it provides single sign-on solutions across the cloud, giving user identities access to cloud-based services within certain platforms. However, in the future, it is not inconceivable to imagine Directory-as-a-Service as an IAM solution that securely manages user connections to all types of IT resources hosted on clouds. These include operating systems, servers, applications and networks.



The Blockchain system was introduced to the world via Bitcoin and crypto currency. Directly contrasting the centralised management of cash flow by hegemonic financial institutions, crypto currency utilises the distributed ledger, or blockchain to verify monetary exchanges. Using the blockchain is a possible path for IAM systems.


IAM systems now are already dealing with a mass of decentralised identities, and this number will only increase further as more and more gadgets are woven into our digital web. Each gadget or account must be awarded an identity, and decentralised identities must be properly verified and managed.


As such, decentralised ledgers are well placed to assist future IAM solutions. The blockchain will allow for decentralised entities to handle authentication and verification of all identities in their respective platforms. IAM would benefit from a constant and dynamic validation of identities and transactions, alongside a digitisation of all processes. Thus, it is possible that IAM solutions may leverage the blockchain, or distributed ledger system, in the future.



Biometric authentication isn’t new. However, it is a very possible future for IAM systems.


Biometric authentication relies on using our bodies to verify our electronic identity, using our fingerprints, eyes and other facial features to authenticate our identities. This makes it nearly impossible for unauthorised access to take place. While this technology is now widespread among mobile devices, it is less common on dedicated IAM systems.


While it will require a significant amount of time and effort to perfect, biometric authentication is a technology extremely likely to be utilised by IAM tools and solutions.


To conclude, IAM systems have changed and will undoubtedly continue to do so. The onus is now on businesses to identify the IAM solution that best fits their system and aligns with their digitalisation plan.