From my soon-to-be-released MaXware whitepaper titled Identity Management in a Service Oriented Architecture:
As companies continue to deploy identity management solutions throughout 2006 and 2007, they should do so with an eye toward their enterprise SOA strategy. Organizations that implement identity management solutions will benefit most over the long term when IdM solutions are offered as a service. Companies are beginning to move toward Service Oriented Architecture models and adoption is already gaining momentum. IdM will be a critical component of SOA infrastructure securing service access to applications as well as access to the services themselves. Applications will be looking to access identity data throughout the organization over standard service protocols like DSML and SPML. MaXware is uniquely positioned to meet the current and future needs of organizations looking to build, manage and secure an SOA infrastructure.
There is certainly a significant amount of hype about SOA, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's only hype. SOA done right has the potential to greatly reduce application integration costs, which has been an albatross for many large organizations. I expect a gradual adoption over the next few years as software vendors provide SOA hooks into their software. I don't really see companies rolling out enterprise-wide SOA infrastructure, but as more apps become service oriented, communication between platforms will become much easier to facilitate. Organizations will obviously need to consider security for the SOA infrastructure but they should also expect that Identity Management solutions (provisioning systems, identity data stores, etc) should be available as a service over standard protocols. If you're interested in the whitepaper, check our web site -- it should be available within the next few days.