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CA Buys Arcot: Filling a Hole with Too Little Too Late



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August 31, 2010 10:02 am

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by Jay Roxe, Director, ISM Product Marketing

CA certainly has been on a buying spree recently to try to move itself into the Cloud space.  With the space predicted to grow at more than a 15% CAGR, it’s little wonder as to why.  However, this recent acquisition smacks of putting a square peg in a round hole.

Arcot has a nice solution for strong authentication but as an authentication play, it’s not that interesting.  It’s about time that CA patched that hole in their SiteMinder portfolio.  Other providers (Novell included) offer token-less strong authentication.  I’m left scratching my head and wondering if this is truly a cloud security play or merely paying a lot for a technology labeled “cloud.”

The second part of the Arcot acquisition is a solution for providing single-sign on for cloud applications.  I think it’s missing in a couple of fundamental aspects:

  • It’s only hosted by Arcot.  Other state-of-the-art players, such as Novell and Ping Identity, are working with cloud providers to offer this to their existing customers instead of trying to build a new channel.  If you’re an enterprise in the middle of the move to the cloud do you really want to have to deal with yet another vendor?
  • It misses the fact that single-sign on in the cloud is about a lot more than just sign-on.  Providers need to provide auditing, logging, and the foundational technology needed to ensure compliance.

Identity and Security in the Cloud are on everybody’s mind these days — particularly with the VMWare conference this week — but this was an big acquisition by CA that will require a lot of integration work and cause yet more churn.

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