EIC Roundup

Let me start this report with an important announcement: we’re updating our privacy policies…. Just kidding!  But I’m sure your inboxes have been filling up with a number of similar notifications as the European GDPR regulations became enforceable. It was appropriate then that just a week prior, the largest identity conference in Europe took place outside of Munich, Germany.

This year I was fortunate enough to be able to attend my first ever European Identity & Cloud Conference (EIC). It’s an event that I have wanted to attend for a long time, jealously reading other attendees’ tweets, but I have had a difficult time justifying an overseas trip in a corporate environment where every budget dollar is an important asset. A judicious combination of a cheap airline route, an inexpensive little B&B in Dachau, and, most importantly, KuppingerCole’s generous offer to come speak about IDPro allowed the fulfillment of this desire.  

While I was expecting some differences to the RSA, CIS, and Gartner conferences I have attended in the States, the biggest contrast was in the format of the conference sessions themselves. Keynotes and the sessions (in five different tracks) typically ran from about 9am to 7 or 8pm. Almost all of those sessions, including the keynotes, were just 20 minutes in length, which meant it was possible to attend about 20-25 different sessions each day. It was definitely the mental equivalent of drinking from a firehose.

The plethora of sessions also meant, however, that almost every subject within the vast pantheon of the identity industry was being discussed at one time or another. While sessions on the impact of GDPR were prevalent, even they were outnumbered by sessions about Blockchain. Whether it was talks about Decentralized Identifiers, Self-Sovereign Identity, or even Canadian Blockchain, there were no less than 30 sessions around decentralized ledger technology, demonstrating that there are still very smart people having very serious discussions about this technology. Other popular topics were advances in identity standards, FIDO2, CIAM, PSD2, PAM, identity governance, and privacy.

There was also a collection of three sessions around IDPro. This group of Wednesday sessions was kicked off by an incredibly well-researched and informative session on developing identity talent within your organization by IDPro member, and Director at Deutsche Bank, Olaf Grewe. He’ll be reprising the talk in a couple of weeks at Identiverse (formerly known as Cloud Identity Summit): make sure you attend! I got to follow that with a talk titled “What Every ID Professional Should Know” covering one of my favorite topics: the benefits of the community of IDPro members. The track finished up with Olaf and I being joined by Microsoft’s Pam Dingle and Identiverse Content Chair Andi Hindle for a panel discussion about the future of the identity profession. It was a great experience and I was honored to be able to participate in it.

As with most conferences, the opportunities for personal interaction with other identity professionals were just as valuable as the sessions themselves. On most evenings there were numerous different groups forming for dinner, drinks, or even just group chats. It was a great occasion to catch up with old friends, but the European location provided a chance to meet a whole new audience and I was happy to form a number of new relationships that I hope to maintain for years to come. 

The EIC was extremely valuable to me and has definitely earned a spot on my annual conference attendance list. I cannot wait to return next year!

Steve Hutchinson
Board Member, IDPro.org

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