The unfinished furniture store

I was entertained by this comment in Jackson’s summary post about Neil MacDonald’s session at the Gartner Summit :

Gartner’s position is that FIM 2010 is not a complete solution. It can be extended, and by 3rd party partners like Quest but it’s like going to the unfinished furniture store.

It’s not a bad analogy – you do have to do a lot of work on your own side to get FIM doing the things you need. But to continue the analogy, it’s like lots of people have houses which are built upside-down, with all sorts of strange shaped corners, and sloping ceilings, and half the kitchen on the other side of the road… and the only way you can get the furniture to fit with any kind of effectiveness is to go bespoke.

I do think more standardisation in IAM will come, but it’s going to have to go hand-in-hand with further standardisation in account management practises and application security. Maybe then we’ll be able to expect more out-of-the-box functionality without having to go high-end or accept too many compromises. Meanwhile the unfinished furniture store and a good measure of DIY will remain the best option for many organisations.