In three years, you will no longer log into a website directly. Mobile authentication and single sign-on will become commonplace. For the first time since the mid-1990s, we will start to experience fewer passwords than the password proliferation we endure today. Federation will, for the first time since the early 2000s, begin to link and consolidate our identities faster than we're able to fragment them.
I've always believed that identity will one day converge around our mobile devices, but there are a number of things about this acquisition that have me really excited right now.
Over the past 12 years, Ping has been approached by dozens of strong authentication companies looking to embed their technology into our single sign-on solutions. It's logical, after all, if you're going to create a single door to the digital kingdom, you'll want to make sure it's a strong one.
While we've been motivated to help our customers work with any number of authentication providers, we've purposefully remained agnostic ourselves, until now.
Two things struck me about accells. First, not only was accells fundamentally based upon mobile as an authentication platform, but it was one of the first multi-factor authentication technologies that actually improved my user experience. Second, its cloud-based backend and SDK offered limitless opportunities for authentication innovation.
This past week, I've been playing with accells connected to my PingOne CloudDesktop, and I can say it's been pure experiential nirvana.
For all the PowerPoint presentations I've given describing the challenges IT faces today with smartphone users accessing company data in the cloud, nothing compares to experiencing the solution when it finally comes together.
With a simple click, a swipe, and a click, I can access all of my cloud applications securely and never see a login form or have to enter a password - all while authenticating to the corporate directory whereby IT controls what I can access in the cloud. It's pure awesomeness.
Of course, Ping will continue to work with many authentication technologies. Interoperability and choice is in our DNA. But if you're simply looking for a solution to the federation, single sign-on and authentication problem, we'll offer you a solution out of the box.
We'll look back on 2014 and see it as a watershed moment for identity, the moment the end game became visible, tangible and real.