OIX member meetings are “dog fooding” exercises. We walk our talk of transparency in the hope that members trust the organization they contribute their time and treasure. This is to share notes from our last meeting.
Survival, if not success, of organizations like Open Identity Exchange (OIX), requires a very clear, precise description of the value propositions from a number of member perspectives.
The value propositions of organizations like OIX, the OpenID Foundation and others are clearer now that the problem space has matured to the point that it can now recognize what Open Identity Exchange has to offer – e.g. a general purpose trust registry fits the needs of other organizations who need a trusted place to register trusted identity systems. Organizational ears in the US, UK and Canada are tuning in.
The next set of needs for this emerging open market will be processes for terms/policy/rules standardization. As the registry matures, it will expose more models available in the current landscape and enable Trust Framework Providers (TFPs) to be grouped and make it easier for the TFPs that follow. The OIXnet registry does not, by itself, fill in the gaps to help draw separate TFs together toward policy interoperability. This interfederation won’t be extant in the early days, but as the network effect takes hold, it’s likely to be relevant.
OIXnet builds processes that are deliberately simple first to perform the enrollment function of informing with common information so separate processes can start to gravitate toward shared, broader interoperability requirements. As the OIXnet registration data is made more transparent and markets react it can help strengthen federation and facilitate interoperability across TFP requirements.
OIX policy allows registrants to reduce risk by ensuring that other stakeholders are committed to the same set of (enforceable) terms and will in turn, behave more predictably. This is what some call the “self-binding” issue, and it requires competitors to embrace the concept that some things that are better done in groups. We have real examples in the UK and US with MNOs collaborating to build identity services available only when ubiquitous market coverage is available.
Each competitor, be they MNO or retailer, does an “outsourcing” calculus, weighing benefits and downsides of being dependent on a third-party platform they help build. One doesn’t have to go far to reference similar outsourcing delegations to networks for shipping, payroll preparation, data processing, etc. The latest “outsourcing” opportunity is identity services, and OIXnet could be seen as a market information platform to accelerate and govern these multiparty agreements.
OIX workshops, pilots and white papers assess and reflect progress on the pathway to date with the goal of pulling forward the futures members are impatient to manifest. It’s OIX members that have got us to this place. A place where OIX is poised to make an even bigger positive impact to the many stakeholders it serves.