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Cloud 2.0 – From CRM to IRM

2.0Although Cloud hosting has been a massive boom it’s not necessarily a disruptive technology model.

Although Amazon is certainly doing it to a much larger scale than ever before, it more represents an ongoing maturity of the simple web hosting we began in the early 90′s. It may now be on steroids but it’s still fundamentally the same virtualized shared infrastructure model.

It’s also still just a technical decision, not one of business transformation. The Marketing and other business managers don’t care whether an app is run in-house, in the Cloud or anywhere else, as along as it works and provides them the software functionality they need.

So it is usually the technical teams making these decisions , with no real impact on how the organization overall performs their work, or in how the software that it runs works in terms of information models.

IRM : Identity Relationship Management

In contrast the evolution of ‘the Cloud’, as in a single overall data sharing environment achieved by XML Web services, will impact the business/IT landscape in a profoundly massive way.

In short, it will completely transform the very practice of CRM itself, to a new model called ‘IRM’ – Identity Relationship Management.

This highlights the critical role that Cloud services that build upon this hosting platform, most notably Cloud Identity. We have just started our best practices guide for this field, and one of the vendors we feature coined this term.

forgerock-pptForgerock, a supplier of IAM software (Identity and Access Management) software, defines this here on their web site, and also in this presentation.

IAM has been around for a long time, and traditionally has really only been a low level technical function, helping better integrate and automate the basic building block of username/password logon procedures.

Not that exciting when all we logged on to was our corporate network, but now of course our digital universe stretches across multiple social media networks, utilizes multiple Web services and so on, and thanks to the innovations of OpenID, OAuth et al, has acted as the foundation to bridge these  different systems in an integrated manner that traditional approaches could never achieve.

The next step for our best practices guide is a ‘Cloud Identity Maturity Model’- This will reflect this spectrum ranging from tactical technology solution through transformational relationship to CRM, forming the keystone to a Cloud 2.0 strategy.

Data-by-Reference – Personal Cloud architecture

How this new approach might be achieved is introduced in this white paper from Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian.

Co-authored by the inventor of the OASIS XDI protocol this explains the role these Identity standards will play in enabling a new approach based on ‘Personal Clouds’.

On page 13 the author describes ‘Data-by-Reference‘, one of a number of architectural shifts of this trend, calmly laid out as part of a best practices guide but representing a quite surreal level of transformation of how business software works.

In a nutshell, think of all those CRM systems out there, from your supermarket to the government to well, every one who wants to interact with you, that they have invested fortunes into tailoring to track your wants and needs so they can better market their products to you.

What they all share in common is they run their own local database, somewhere to store all that data about people, and also what they share is the fact they are duplicating your data N times, requiring that copy of your information to be changed every time you move address for example.

Also I might be Neil McEvoy in one, Neil A. McEvoy in another and Niel McAvoy in a third. Errors naturally creep in when so much data is being processed, in many cases by manual data entry.

neil-smallI am also always me, the one and only, and so the much simpler more elegant solution is of course just to have one copy of my data.

Indeed this is the critical point, it’s MY data, and XDI-enabled Personal Clouds reflect both these design points.

I maintain my own Personal Cloud and keep my data in it,  changing my address right when I move, and via Cloud Identity permission subscriptions, those vendors I have a marketing relationship with can call upon this new data when they need it.

This is a huge win/win for every one involved. Vendors incur huge expenses buying these databases and maintaining this data, and we consumers endure huge time costs in all the forms and updates we provide them.

Therefore despite this being a seismic shift in how business software is programmed, as these capabilities come online and begin uptake, it will spread at Internet speed.

CRM marketeers will either be part of this dramatic transformation of online consumer interaction, or they will be left far behind still trying to operate what is now perceived as archaic software that no one wants their personal data stored in.

In conclusion: Disrupt or be disrupted.

The post Cloud 2.0 – From CRM to IRM appeared first on Cloud Computing Best Practices.

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