At a recent summit, Gartner analysts made strong assertions about cloud-based IAM’s growing predominance, predicting that cloud IAM will grow 500 percent from 2012 to 2015 (source: Gartner “A Guide to Making the Right Choices in the Expanding IDaaS Market, Gregg Kreizman, April 20, 2012). In addition, they predict that IDaaS will account for 25 percent of all IAM sales by 2014 (today, IDaaS makes up less than 5 percent of IAM sales).

Why the rapid growth? Simply put, identity is at the nexus of four forces that are reshaping the enterprise: social, mobile, information and cloud.

These are forces that are fundamentally changing business. Organizations now use social platforms to communicate not only with customers, but internally among employees and with machines as well. Employees everywhere are accessing business applications and data through mobile devices. Information is evolving in tandem, moving beyond a single system, and SaaS applications continue to be widely accessed and adopted.

Identity is a crucial component in managing and securing the changes brought by social, mobile, information and the cloud. These forces are pushing data and access beyond the firewall, requiring the enterprise to address the resulting security and management issues. Legacy IAM software is no longer a practical solution for an IT that must deal with cloud applications and remote employees accessing these apps on mobile devices.

The enterprise needs identity solutions that are built to manage an environment that extends beyond the traditional firewall. Cue cloud IAM, which brings visibility and control back to IT. It’s a solution that addresses the new identity and security issues in the changed world of enterprise IT. What’s more, cloud IAM is scalable and nimble, updates instantly, provides more delivery options and more easily handles admin privileging than hosted identity solutions.

Business is changing, and the enterprise needs a cloud IAM solution that’s up to the task. As enterprises keep moving to the cloud, and as their employees continue going mobile, it just makes sense to solve identity from the cloud. Cloud IAM is a lasting piece of infrastructure for the modern, social, mobile enterprise.

Image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.: “The Nexus of Forces: Social, Mobile, Cloud and Information, Chris Howard, Daryl C. Plummer, Yvonne Genovese, Jeffrey Mann, David A. Willis, David Mitchell Smith, 14 June 2012.