New Okta exec talks identity’s role in securing trust, personalisation

Okta’s EMEA channel VP James Bradley says identity is the foundation to trust in public services.

Posted 7 September 2023 by Christine Horton

Okta’s new EMEA channel VP says identity is central to securing trust among citizens.

James Bradley said people are concerned as to how organisations may use their data. “It feels like we’ve got to the point where we don’t trust data,” he explained. “And identity is the foundation to trust. So as an identity provider, everything is built on top of it.”

Bradley said he envisioned a time where consumers will use just one identity across different services in both the public and private sectors.

“That’s the dream and that’s the vision, how we build all that together. It’s hugely complex, of course, because especially in public sector there’s a ton of technical debt. And public sector is not one big, neat thing where you can just go log in. That’s the opportunity,” he said.

Across all sectors, he said, new applications are being created every day.

“Every single one of those applications needs identity, because you’re back to the data challenge. We can’t really use cookies anymore to serve up personalisation. And everybody wants super-fast, personalised experiences. The only way you can do it is with identity – where you know who that person is, what their preferences are, what they like to look at, how they like to look at it, and deliver something that’s unique to them. That’s what people want.”

Bradley said there was a huge opportunity for Okta partners to build services on top of its platform.

“You’ve got the platform that you can build and develop on, and this is why SI [systems integration] is so interesting. Because SI is an opportunity for personalisation, and identity supporting that – but also in an era of such an incredible amount of complexity and technical debt underneath it. That means they are going to need to deliver a whole load of services that bind it all together.”