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Incorporating business strategy formulation with identity management strategy formulation

Cornelius Johannes Kruger (Department of Informatics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)
Mavis Noxolo Mama (Department of Informatics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)

Information Management & Computer Security

ISSN: 0968-5227

Article publication date: 13 July 2012




Identity management (IdM) not only improves the process of creating and maintaining digital identities across business systems; it can, if implemented successfully, contribute to the strengthening and positioning of the business for success. In order to have a successful IdM implementation, an organisation must step back to determine a course of action that solves enterprise‐wide issues. Short‐sighted actions can lead to confusion, unnecessary expenses and the delay of beneficial results. The purpose of this paper is to deliver guidelines for the application of strategic management principles regarding IdM implementation, and propose a holistic model incorporating business strategy formulation with IdM strategy formulation.


A total of ten senior managers involved in IdM implementation projects were interviewed. Face‐to face interviews were conducted, with 30 minutes allocated per participant, and an assistant present to administer the proceedings. Primary data was collected using a semi‐structured questionnaire. Part A of the questionnaire collected the respondent's details and provided definitions of IdM to clarify the concept. Part B consisted of descriptive questions which dealt with the following three categories: IdM as part of the business strategy, IdM challenges in the company, IdM implementation approach used by the company and strategic framework used.


Findings indicate that IdM is seen as part of strategy and as such IdM implementations consist of a strategic thinking process accompanied by an incremental tactical implementation. Challenges facing IdM centred not on technological issues, but on implementing IdM as a competitive tool. Unfortunately, lack of commitment and external environment analysis; relegate IdM planning to remain on a tactical, rather than a strategic level.


A strategic planning process is presented in this article to model the interdependence between IdM implementation planning and strategic management (business strategy formulation). This model enables the organisation to develop and communicate its vision for IdM, to link IdM and business plans, and to gain the support of the whole enterprise in this endeavour. By leveraging the proposed model, organisations can gain a bird's eye view of IdM as an integral part of the business strategy, and ensure an IdM implementation that has enterprise‐wide support and benefits.



Kruger, C.J. and Noxolo Mama, M. (2012), "Incorporating business strategy formulation with identity management strategy formulation", Information Management & Computer Security, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 152-169.



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