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Exclusive - Identity Automation Founder and CTO Troy Moreland Talks Analytics and Visiting the Future

Troy Moreland is an expert technologist in the field of identity and access management. He has more than 20 years of relevant experience, including his leading efforts to select, design and deploy one of the first commercially successful identity management implementations in the United States. Since Identity Automation's founding, Troy has architected, designed and implemented identity management solutions for hundreds of organizations.

icrunchdata News talks to business leaders in the analytics and technology space to learn about what they are currently focused on, explore their career path and talk about their lives outside the office. We recently caught up with Troy to discuss the latest at Houston-based Identity Automation, the future of identity management and his time in the Marine Corps.

Troy, thank you for speaking with us today. Let’s begin…

Tell us a little about your background and role.

I officially founded Identity Automation in December 2004. It wasn’t until the company grew that I took on the title of Chief Technology Officer. Previously, I considered myself a consultant.

I’ve actually been in this field from the beginning. It wasn’t called “Identity Management” back in 1991, but a lot of what I worked on was certainly related. Having experience as a computer programmer and network engineer gave me a unique perspective of both. It’s been 24 years and hardly a day goes by that I don’t learn something new.

What’s been one win and one challenge for you lately?

We were recently awarded what will be the largest deployment of our software to-date. We can’t go into details yet, but it will positively impact education on a global scale.

Doing business outside the U.S. has definitely been a challenge. Whether it is simply time zone differences or complex cultural navigation. Though, I always enjoy the challenge because I know I’m going to learn a lot from the experience.

What’s the most impactful initiative you’re working on today? And over the next year?

We are creating an Identity Management training course that will be offered to 1.5 million adults looking to advance their careers in Information Technology. I can’t think of a better way to have an impact than through education.

[Over the next year,] we are working to bring the complete Identity Management features of on-premises solutions to the cloud. Current offerings that exist in the cloud are very limited and don’t offer customers everything they need to fully manage identities and access across their entire application ecosystem.

What’s the most defining moment of your career so far?

I feel like there have been several such moments, but the “most” defining moment would have to be when I started this company. I was not the entrepreneur type. I honestly didn’t have any expectations that the business would grow. Had I not taken that plunge I’d likely be right where I was back in 2009, career-wise.

What excites you most about where data and identity management are heading?

From a personal perspective I think the consumer-facing aspect of identity management is very exciting. When things relate to people through identity management, our entire culture will change. For example, let’s say you own a Mercedes Benz and you adapt it to your preferences. Then you borrow or rent another Mercedes, and it sets that car to all of your preferences, as well. Another cool example is what identity management will bring to your home. Not just automating things like turning on and off lights, but setting moods based on who is in the room or spoken commands.

From a business perspective, I’m generally excited that identity management is the security of the future. Physical boundaries are breaking down as workers need more remote access and the fact that we are using more cloud services outside of our corporate walls. This means securing your data has to be based on identity and ensuring we are always granting access to the right person, at the right time and under the right circumstances.

Controlling access dynamically based on who you are, the levels of assurance and risk factors along with adaptive and behavioral analysis is the direction we are headed.

Describe the future of the data marketplace in one word.

Cloudy (pun intended).

If tomorrow someone asked you to start an unrelated business, what would you create?

What I’d truly like to do is start a business to teach grade school kids more about technology and how to think like an entrepreneur. But if I were to pick something completely unrelated to technology, then it would have to be starting a restaurant. It’s something I plan to do some day and have already put a lot of time and planning into the idea. The best part about it will be involving my family in running the restaurant!

Tell us about your roots and time in the Marine Corps.

I’m a child of divorced parents. With my mom, I lived a very humble life where I learned kindness and appreciation. With my father, I lived a driven life where I learned to work hard and put my destiny in my own hands.

I started college but dropped out to join the Marine Corps. I remember many great (and not so great) things. Most of all, I guess I remember the camaraderie. It is something I’ve never felt since. I didn’t appreciate it then but now I’m able to look back on my times in the Marine Corps and know how amazing it was that the largest network in the world (at the time) was run by kids ages 17 to 21.

Would you rather live a month in the past or the future?

I’ve never been one to dwell in the past. I’m always curious to see what the future brings. Although it would definitely be cheating, I would choose to live a month in the future. I’d want to see a time beyond my life expectancy just to see how far mankind is really able to progress. I love futuristic science fiction movies, so it would be cool to see how close the movies get to the real thing.

What do you enjoy most in your free time?

As corny as it may sound, I truly love spending time with my son (7) and daughter (10). They are both smart, active in sports and, like me, love technology. We have a great time no matter what we are doing, as long as it is together.

If you could play a championship game in any sport, which would you choose?

My number one sport growing up was tennis. Although I loved playing baseball and football, there was nothing as deeply competitive for me as tennis. As a competitor, I’ve never played another sport that challenged me mentally like tennis. I think anyone who played tennis as a child had dreams of playing at Wimbledon so, for me, certainly competing in a Wimbledon championship would be amazing!

What are your top three go-to websites?

As a sports fan, I frequent ESPN.com quite a bit. My favorite site to get caught up on everything is Flipboard.

I must admit, I’m an Amazon.com addict. I’m shopping there way too often but, in seriousness, it has really made life easier and less stressful. And who doesn’t like to come home to boxes on the front porch? Feels like Christmas year round!

Oh yes, we are online shopping fans, as well. That’s all we have for now. Troy, thanks for spending time with us today.

Article published by Anna Hill
Image credit by Getty Images, Identity Automation
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