IDoT Tempos: Cadence, Lifecycles, and the Long Now

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Thought experiment: Would you trust your life to any of the identity technologies of twenty years’ ago? I wouldn’t. Would you trust today’s twenty years from now? No. Digital identity is a briskly moving target.

So, a few notes on the rising tempo gaps between things, makers, humans, & flocks:


Devices can be in service for decades. Buildings. Tractors. Prostheses. Solar panels.

Devices are often not supported through their whole lives, as their makers a. retire them as products or b. close as an enterprise, abandoning the devices.


Most security and identity protocols are obsolesced in a decade or sooner.

They may linger. But modest revisions and major rethinking happen often.

Drift happens.


Many limitations of IoT identity architecture and implementation are handled by people.

People in fluid organizations.

Organizations that own devices, make them, and augment them.

Organizations that reorganize, restructure, are M&A’d, and otherwise disrupted. So much that human knowledge of how to care for the fleet and overcome identity shortcomings are subject to interruption, bad hand-offs, personnel layoffs and retirement and transfers, changing priorities, etc.

Insitutional failures are guaranteed over the long lives of devices.


We expect more services to help with flocking and orchestration of device-to-device trusted relationships.

Swarms formed ad hoc will last briefly.

The collectives formed from devices (hospital rooms, smart buildings, a wind turbine) may last much longer than their constituent things.

So, where and how does this impact:

  • Futureproofing product designs (before shipping)
  • Futureproofing by IdentityOps (lifecycle management, IDoT life extension services)
  • Futureproofing by contract (among the many parties that affect or are affected by devices and their services)
  • Contract survivability
  • Auditability
  • Device sustainability and longevity.

When we talk about identity complexity, this is one of those complexifiers.

Wider Team is a small Identity of Things strategy consultancy to healthcare, biopharmaceuticals, and energy leaders. Schedule a free remote coffee or keep us on call.


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