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Gartner graduates OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect to the ‘Plateau of Productivity’

2023 Hype Cycle for Digital Identity tracks the trends
Gartner graduates OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect to the ‘Plateau of Productivity’
 

Digital ID protocols OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect have matured to the point of readiness for mainstream adoption, according to Gartner’s recently-released 2023 Hype Cycle for Digital Identity report. The Gartner Hype Cycle charts the progression of new tech innovations, offering insights to avoid premature adoption or missed opportunities.

The report is presented in five stages. An “Innovation Trigger” is a significant event, such as a tech breakthrough, that generates initial buzz. Then there is the “Peak of Inflated Expectations,” the “Trough of Disillusionment,” and the “Slope of Enlightenment,” in which early adopters see benefits, and others begin to understand the potential the given technology offers. At the “Plateau of Productivity” the tech achieves mainstream acceptance and delivers broad-based benefits.

By understanding these phases, businesses can better time their tech investments. The report indicates marked changes in technology expectations. Continuous access evaluation profile (CAEP), a technology promoting the sharing of risk signals and enabling adaptive access, is still an innovation trigger. Meanwhile, technologies like zero-knowledge proofs, IoT authentication, decentralized identity, machine identity management, and identity wallets have transitioned from peak hype to the trough of disillusionment. Conversely, systems for cross-domain identity management (SCIM) rose from the trough to enlightenment on the cycle. OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect have settled into the plateau of productivity. Social identities were removed from plateau status due to their maturity and broad market penetration.

The report underscores an uptick in cross-organizational use of identities, such as federation and portable identities, spanning over two decades. A surge in identity wallets, promoting selective data sharing while preserving privacy, is anticipated to sustain this trend.

Digital identity today transcends physical presence, spanning multiple systems and entities. A significant challenge for companies is overseeing machine identities. Gartner emphasizes the burgeoning ecosystem where people, machines, and organizations share and safeguard identity fragments using trusted infrastructures to access resources or validate assertions. This landscape is ripe for ongoing innovation, facilitating novel business models.

A transformative wave in this year’s Hype Cycle revolves around DCIs and verifiable claims (VCs). These tools foster trust in digital identities while granting users control over their virtual personas. Although maturing, the scalability and practicality of these technologies remain topics of debate, with competing specifications. Establishing trust mandates a mediator, emphasizing business models where third parties validate identity data.

Digital identity management of machines, encompassing devices and workloads, emerges as a universal concern. Achieving harmony between trust levels and user experience remains paramount. Alternatives to traditional passwords, such as biometric-enhanced FIDO methods, offer superior authentication experiences. CAEP further exemplifies this by facilitating risk signal sharing, paving the way for adaptive access and ongoing session management in distributed frameworks.

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