Thursday, September 16, 2010

IBM just became a serious GRC player

IBM just announced that they are acquiring OpenPages and it will become part of their Business Analytics and Optimization division (which came into being because they acquired Cognos and SPSS some time ago and have since added Coremetrics and Unica to). For those who are unaware, OpenPages is a serious player in the Enterprise GRC space.

I'm not planning on analysing this to the nth degree because I'm not an expert on Business Intelligence (or Analytics as IBM calls it), but I do know a little something about Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC).

As I mentioned previously, OpenPages is actually an Enterprise GRC vendor. That is, their focus is more on business and financial risk/compliance. If you're still confused, think Basel II (soon to be Basel III) rather than COBIT.

It makes sense for them to roll OpenPages into the Business Analytics group. But this also means that it is unlikely that the other software brands will get to have very much to do with it. I'm naturally thinking about my old mates from Tivoli here.

That said, there's actually only a very thin, dotted line that can be drawn from OpenPages to Tivoli. To make that dotted line a solid one, IBM needs to add another piece to their arsenal: IT GRC, specifically the type that links GRC to Identity and Access Management.

I'm almost certain that there are a few IT GRC (especially the Identity-centric ones) vendors that IBM Tivoli has their eye on. It's only a matter of time before they acquire one for my old mates to sell. I wonder if the relevant product teams at Oracle and CA (whom I've spoken to in the past) are sitting up a little straighter at their desks today (side note: if anyone at CA is listening, it was REALLY difficult to find a link to CA GRC Manager from your website - I almost wondered if you discontinued it).

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