By Lynn Tan, ZDNet Asia


update SINGAPORE–Majority
of companies in the Asia-Pacific region are taking a closer look at
identity management tools and considering implementing such
applications to secure data access within the organization, says a
senior executive at Oracle.

Speaking at a press briefing today, Roman Tuma, regional sales
director of security solutions at Oracle for Asean and North Asia, said
that most of the companies in Asia are planning to adopt identity and
access management (IAM) tools. “Telcos, banks, and organizations in the
healthcare, education and government sectors in countries such as
Malaysia and Singapore, are all looking at it,” Tuma said.

“It is the top priority project in most of the organizations
these days,” he added. This is because most IT systems such as those
based on ERP (enterprise resource planning), CRM (customer relationship
management) and HR (human resource) systems, that run the business
today are automated, and as such, companies are now looking at ways to
secure them.

According to Tuma, the IAM market in the Asia-Pacific region,
excluding Japan, has a “sizeable growth”, and research company IDC
forecasted that it would grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR)
of 18.3 percent to reach US$370 million in 2010.

Singapore, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong are leading the adoption
curve for IAM tools, while India, Thailand and China are in the second
tier, Tuma said. Specifically, he noted that “Thailand is actually a very promising market, and China is incredibly focused on security these days”.

According to Willie Low, IDC Asia-Pacific senior market analyst
for infrastructure software research, the IAM software market size in
Thailand and China in 2006 is expected to be about US$2.4 million and
US$35 million, respectively.

Low added that the Thailand IAM software market is forecasted
to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15 percent from 2005
to 2010, while China’s IAM software market is expected to grow at a
CAGR of 22 percent in the same period.

Although the Philippines and Indonesia fall into the third tier
of the adoption curve, Tuma noted that telcos and banks in those
countries are “pushing as much as they can to be compliant”, and as
such, they are turning to IAM.

Tuma explained that companies in the telco and banking industries are driving the adoption of IAM tools from two angles: compliance, or purely as a “business enabler”.

For instance, IAM tools are particularly useful during mergers
and acquisitions in the financial industry as they facilitate the
conduct of audit trails, which can help speed up the process of
consolidation, Tuma said.

Not just yet

However, most companies in Asia need more time before implementing
IAM tools on a full scale, noted Low. “In Asia, most organizations are
not ready for full-scale IAM deployment yet,” he said. “An IAM solution
is more than an install-and-forget software product. It can be
long-drawn, complex and costly, [and] any IAM implementation is likely
to impact business processes as well.”

“To be ready for a large IAM implementation, [areas such as]
business policies, roles, access rights have to be defined very
clearly, and most organizations are not ready yet,” he added.

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