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Comment Who does what with an enterprise IT system can be quite important. This is even more the case given the glut of new regulations and laws governing how businesses are run in a post-Enron/Worldcom world, even if it only means that the right company director can be taken outside and shot. So knowing which people should have access to what systems and trapping the meddlers –whether malicious or incompetent – is now a core component of sound compliance management.

That is one reason why Identity Management systems are now getting to be big business. Earlier this month HP announced a new ID management module as part of OpenView, following the announcement of specialist ID Management system vendor, Trustgenix. IBM has expanded its offerings here with a new module for its infrastructure management system, Tivoli, known as Tivoli Access Manager. This sets out to create what the company calls an `all in one audit centre’ which captures data on all applications accesses by every user and compares them to access approval data. From this, access compliance reports can be automatically generated.

If it is then combined with the existing Tivoli Federated Identity Manager, companies can then extend this capability to monitor and report on the level of access to services that have been generated by third parties such as business partners and suppliers.

It all marks another trend in infrastructure management which applications developers must learn to accommodate. To fit into an enterprise infrastructure these days, applications will need to integrate into management environments such as Tivoli and OpenView in order to report on activity such as the ID of users that have accessed the application. With compliance to legislation and regulations now a core responsibility for IT and business managers – with seriously significant penalties attached that may be exercised with extreme prejudice – knowing who is allowed to access applications and data, and stopping those who shouldn’t, is now an important trick.

And as it grows in importance, so the major vendors of infrastructure solutions will be looking for technology to incorporate in their offerings. So if any developers out there have good ideas in the ID arena, now is the time to start advertising themselves. They might well sell some product – better still they might even sell the company. ®

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