The Kantara Initiative yesterday announced the formation of the Identity Assurance Review Board (ARB). This is a tangible example of the Kantara Initiative delivering on the non-technology related, identity meta-issues that I alluded to in my last Kantara Initiative blog.
I think in a few years we will look back to this and see it as a key step toward making the Internet a more useful and safe place for conducting commerce. And when I say commerce I don’t mean just buying and selling stuff on the Internet. I mean using the Internet to provide the underlying wiring for cross-organizational ecosystems – supply chains, distribution partnerships, outsourcing – all needing to operate in real-time and without organizational boundaries getting in the way.
That is a place where I believe tremendous economic value is currently trapped – between organizations. I believe this inter-organizational friction holds back billions of dollars in potential value. Organizations certainly do interoperate today using the Internet as the communication network, but it is currently way too hard, expensive, and slow to make this happen for large value release. The force of friction won’t let this ball really start rolling.
Why is this type of commerce hard? In part it is due to the existence of non-standard technologies and APIs on both sides which are tricky to integrate. But this issue is fading with standards and APIs which often leverage XML. So in many ways the technology hurdles for interoperation on the Internet have been addressed.
What hasn’t been sufficiently addressed is trust and the establishment of trust. If you are with an organization that would like to interoperate in real-time with your 100 distribution partners, a key problem is how you establish and enforce trust across this particular ecosystem? And it needs set it up in days, not years.
Today we don’t even have a common way of communicating certain facts which can lead to the establishment of trust, let alone the fast establishment of trust itself. If we solve this in a widely deployable way, the tremendous economic value I mentioned can be released. More grease will be applied to this friction problem through the establishment of the ARB.
Check out Matthew’s blog at http://tinyurl.com/ner8cf