Joining Forces in the Digital Age: A Conversation with Edgile

Authors: Don Elledge, CEO, and Larry Wolf, Partner

Over the next few weeks, we are rolling out a blog series on SailPoint’s 2017 Partner of the year winners. Our partners provide value to our customers and help us deliver our solutions around the world. Stay tuned as we share their insights on how identity is driving the enterprise to innovate, grow and move forward securely. 

The following is a SailPoint interview with  Don Elledge, CEO, and Larry Wolf, Partner at Edgile.

Edgile is a trusted partner and advisor on cyber risk; their mission is to secure the modern enterprise for the new age of digital by providing strategy and implementation consulting services to the world’s leading organizations. 

SailPoint: Congratulations on being one of our SailPoint partners of the year! In a nutshell, tell us a little bit more about Edgile and your experience in identity governance.

Don Elledge: We’re quite honored, and gratified, to be awarded SailPoint partner of the year for the Americas. The vision that our two companies have for identity has been closely aligned since the beginning, and the market has awarded both companies for that vision. We both saw, early on, that the traditional notion of securing enterprise information at the perimeter would change, and we both saw that this change would transform how the modern enterprise would begin to empower itself — and secure itself — for the things it needs to do. In the age of digital, the enterprise needs to provide secure and compliant access throughout its entire ecosystem, with information and systems sitting both inside and outside the physical perimeter. A modern approach to identity — which both SailPoint and Edgile have championed — enables organizations to create a “virtual perimeter” at the individual access level, empowering organizations to securely conduct businesses with all of their stakeholders.

What’s driving all this? A big part of it is the cloud, as more and more businesses embrace the cloud as part of their strategy to compete in the new world. This has changed the landscape for cyber risk, and where the real action is today is where identity meets governance, the second area of practice where Edgile invested early. This has given prominence to what’s called “identity governance” which SailPoint and Edgile are uniquely qualified to provide to the modern enterprise.

SailPoint: What do you attribute as the top 2-3 major business drivers for your customers in making an identity governance purchase in the last year?

Larry Wolf: For our clients, there are at least two major drivers. First, the role of security continues to evolve from one that simply restricts access to one that enables all stakeholders to do their work in a secure way. Second, as Don noted earlier, strategic corporate decisions — like the move to embrace the cloud — are forcing organizations to relinquish the idea of the physical perimeter. With the steady expansion of stakeholders for whom the enterprise must provide access — on-premises and in the cloud — the inside/outside dichotomy is no longer relevant. It’s not just about employee identity, however. Now we’re talking about customer identity, partner identity, and supplier identity as well. The mandate today is universal identity management, and more enterprises are preparing themselves for this transformation.

Still, at a meta-level, something is happening inside the enterprise that’s even more profound. At one time, identity was not much more than a box on the IT security checklist. Now it’s becoming the cornerstone of every cyber risk strategy. The most advanced organizations understand this and are beginning to see identity as the foundation — a common infrastructure for protecting all their digital assets across the enterprise. That’s a big shift in thinking, and it has helped moved identity to the center of conversations regarding enterprise risk.

SailPoint: Can you talk more specifically about the value that our joint solutions are bringing to healthcare organizations as they roll out their identity governance programs?

Larry Wolf: In healthcare, like many other industries, the first step is to step back and ask how security investments are aligning with business goals. At the same time, because healthcare is highly regulated, the need to integrate identity with governance is mission critical. Our healthcare strategy accelerator program provides CISOs with the resources they need to define a strategic approach anchored in the realities of modern enterprise governance.

Second, we are helping healthcare organizations to manage specific strategic business objectives, like transitioning to the cloud. Today, everything from email to electronic medical record (EMR) systems are available as cloud applications, a trend that’s driving the development of “hybrid identities” for both on-premises and cloud-based access. The recently Microsoft and SailPoint collaboration was designed to ensure that IT organizations can utilize a common identity, and provide a common provisioning process across the enterprise.

As we move from strategic planning into implementation, there’s also a lot we are doing to help our clients. EPIC is often a common point of integration, which is why we’ve written the Edgile EPIC connector for SailPoint and which our healthcare clients are using today. We have deep expertise in this area.

SailPoint: Where do you see the identity governance market going in 2017?

Don Elledge: Investment in identity governance is increasing at an accelerated pace and there are several objectives driving this. More organizations — across all industries — will modernize their identity programs and better align with their business objectives. Top security officers will begin to see identity as a cornerstone to enterprise security, and more will begin to view it as the foundation of a universal security infrastructure. Most important, more organizations will begin seeing identity not just as an occasional project but as a recurring program that requires long-term strategy and governance, team focus, and, yes — prudent investment. Identity has come a long way since 2001 when Edgile first got started, but in some ways, it’s just beginning.

Editor’s Note: This is the second part in a six-part series with our 2016 Partners of the Year. Stay tuned as we discuss some of our most strategic moments with our top partners.