Rendering Mediocrity

“The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.” – John Stuart Mill

Here we have John Stuart Mill discussing “best practices.” Not really, of course, but when you think about it If every one is doing the same thing the same way that’s mediocrity. The first few companies that adapt or discover the best way to do something reap the benefit. Best practices are ephemeral, married to the dominant business processes of a particular age. Frequently they are not even best practices but merely fads. Anyone remember the ten year strategic plans of the mid 1980s? I can remember when bankers would ask to see at least a five year strategic plan. What does this have to do with Identity Management? This, I am asked frequently what are the best practices concerning IAM. This is usually an IT centric view and they are thinking technical deployment. I believe a better question is this “How can we use this tool to augment our competitive advantage while lowering our total risk? It’s possible to do both with IAM. There aren’t a lot of systems in the security domain that can.

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