Sunday, March 11, 2007


Why OpenID will fail...

I ran across an interesting blog on Why OpenID will fail where the author states that People don’t understand OpenID or the problem it is trying to solve. Actually, I 100% agree with this belief in that it first requires one to understand why the best practices of the past in building identity into each and every web-site is 100% wrong and why this is better. With the exception of Kim Cameron of Microsoft, no other large vendor is even talking about it. Even within Microsoft's powerful marketing engine, they aren't really sharing user-centric perspectives with their large enterprise customers.

So far OpenID has been embraced by technosavvy Internet startups and others whose primary business model is all about technology where as there has been zero movement or even discussion from firms whose business model is not technology-oriented from verticals such as banking, healthcare, investments, etc and how they can incorporate it into their own web sites. No one is making any large effort to get on their radar with OpenID and are relying more on some enterprise architect trolling the blogosphere to figure it all out.

So, how do traditional businesses learn about OpenID? If industry analyst firms such as Gartner, Forrester and the Burton Group started providing deeper research into this space that would awaken a few enterprise folks. If CIO magazine did a detailed article on identity management not from the perspective of compliance to SoX but in terms of engaging those outside of their enterprise, that would awaken a few more folks. If vendors such as Computer Associates, Verisign, EMC, Sun and Oracle started publicly evangelizing user-centric approaches whenever they have face-to-face interactions with their clients then it would grow even larger.

Maybe, OpenID will succeed and most folks simply aren't patient enough or maybe it will fail because of it not crossing the radar of those who it truly matters, only time will tell. I can say that I am 50/50 on its success due to the fact that OpenID folks haven't yet even reached out to the enterprise in order to have the first conversation. I am also skeptical in that folks haven't figured out a novel way to make money off it as anything nowadays that relies on the existence of a moral compass is doomed to fail in most enterprises...

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