July 13, 2018

By Patrick Hearn

Digital ID is no stranger to innovation. In recent Alé articles, we saw how digital id companies can spring from nothing to being $19B businesses in less than 6 years. Many organizations both private and public are looking at digital identity from the perspective of what new piece of software/hardware can shape the next big thing and capture it all. That’s just chasing a new toy or treating a tree as more important than the forest.

From varying perspectives, digital identity is forecasted to be just under $10B USD by 2021. Mobile Identity is at $34B by 2022. Should this path continue, it is not outrageous to see by 2030 a market that approaches $100B USD and well beyond.

Examples of growth come from behavioral biometrics (over 17% CAGR) from a technology perspective to 20% growth of financial inclusion in Africa in terms of people. Each of these 2 examples have at their foundation digital identity. Yet with these CAGR’s what should be the principles of a winning formula in digital identity for the next decade (in “non-tech” speak)?

Here they are:

1.      Digital Identity is Fluid.

 Gone are the days of static documents. While they may be something comfortable to hold on to and pretty to look at, they are old school and have no real place in a digital world (Developing and Developing Economies included).

2.      Digital Identity is Active.

Any infrastructure in the next decade must have at its core a constant capability to score-card identity and, based the level of risk of an activity, provide varying levels of increasing/decreasing authentication complexity. It's more than key-stroking.

3.      Digital Identity is Decentralized

For the record, Blockchain is decentralized Public Key Infrastructure. Best to build to that. Second, cloud architecture is not singular. It is plural and everywhere. Just ask Microsoft or Amazon. As such, to think identity is somehow a centralized concept goes completely against the reality of pretty much every other technology trend

4.      Digital Identity is Exciting for the Young

What holds back more success in digital identity is the lack of excitement from a consumer perspective. B2C in the digital age will drive adoption. Ever wonder why Instagram took off? Yes it is a Digital Identity company and a boon for facial, and voice recognition. That might be your $100B right there.

Patrick Hearn