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Digital Identity by Phillip J. Windley

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Chapter 20. Building an Identity Management Architecture

The last seven chapters have discussed the importance of building an IMA and how to go about constructing each of the components. In this chapter, we’ll discuss how to put it all together.

Scoping the Process

Scope is a critical decision in creating a process that works. In this book, we’ve used enterprise to refer to the organization building the IMA. As I said in the Preface, when I talk about “the enterprise,” I’m referring to any mostly independent organization. Companies, government agencies, and NGOs (non-governmental organizations, such as the American Red Cross) all qualify. Even divisions within those organizations may qualify as an enterprise under this definition. The key test is whether or not you can imagine the organization developing its own digital identity strategy. So, an independent business unit probably qualifies, but the marketing department in that business unit doesn’t, because its identity strategy can’t be independent of the other departments with which it interacts.

As we’ve seen, the goal of an IMA process is to create the context within which a digital identity infrastructure can be implemented. If that infrastructure is to support the constant use and interoperability of identity data throughout the organization, then “enterprise” needs to be defined quite broadly to include every suborganization along with all their processes, identity data, and systems as well.

On the other hand, an enterprise-wide ...

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