Highlights from Oktane21

Highlights from Oktane21

The conference Oktane, which is the big annual event for everyone working with Okta and Identity, has once again inspired and impressed us. There are also plenty of exciting product news to look forward to. Our IAM architect Arne Vedø-Hansen has summarized Oktane21.

An impressive production

Before I start digging into all the really interesting stuff about this year’s Oktane, I need to give a big kudos to Okta and the organizers for making the most out of a virtual conference. I never had a single problem or glitch accessing the platform or any of the sessions. Given the amount of things that can go wrong along the way, I find that impressive.

Good substitutes for the in-person stuff

I think the organizers found a good rhythm to the conference. Keynotes to start and round off each day and filling the space in between with breakout sessions of all kinds.

A lot of the in-person stuff I like about conferences had good substitutes, such as the various “office hours” for booths. They let you connect to experts interactively, so you could ask questions and discuss stuff live. Having presenters in the live chats for the pre-recorded breakout sessions was really useful when I needed something clarified or elaborated on. I think that was as close as we could get to «cornering a presenter» after a presentation if you had something you’d like to ask or discuss.

A+ for effort and execution!

Cloudworks' watch-party over Zoom

Since the conference was digital, it was easy to get everyone in Cloudworks involved. For the starting keynote, we even arranged a watch-party over Zoom. Everyone got a chance to ask questions, post comments and do hot-takes along the way.

Oktane21's big product news

Okta always seems to save some real goodies for announcement at Oktane, and Oktane21 was no exception.

→ Okta Identity Governance

This one can be a game-changer. Till now, when a customer has had a need for doing access reviews, more involved access request management and re-certification campaigns, my impression has been that Okta has been happy to point to partners and services that can provide this for Okta through integration.

Set to launch in Q1 2022, Okta is saying that this will now be part of Okta itself. I’m quite curious what this will actually look like, so I’m definitely keeping a look-out for more news and information about this!

Read more in Okta's announcement of Okta Identity Governance

→ Okta Privileged Access

As with governance, Okta are whole-heartedly embracing the need for handling Privileged Access as an integral part of your Identity and Access Management. I imagine we’ve seen the outlines of this in Okta Advanced Server Access already. It will be interesting to see what Okta do to take it even further within a year’s time or so. Q1 2022 is looking to be quite a time for anyone working with Okta installations!

Read more in Okta's announcement of Okta Privileged Access

→ Workflows available for Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM)

As anyone working with me can testify, I’ve been a big fan of Okta Workflows ever since I got my hands on the Workflows console. I’m happy to bring it out when a customer - or we - need some tricky user processing done or something boring can be automated a lot more smoothly.

It’s clear that Okta sees Workflows as a good tool moving forward. They took the time to launch Workflows for CIAM at Oktane21 and at the same time giving some insight into general improvements that are on their way for the workflow engine.

Read more in Okta's announcement of Workflows for CIAM

→ Okta for developers

There is no doubt that Okta is emphasizing the CIAM side of identity management. There are quite a few signs of this; acquiring Auth0 and numerous news and sessions addressing CIAM. However, I think one of the most telling things is the highlight Okta put on developers during Oktane21, knowing that CIAM often involves client-side custom development when setting up customer-facing systems that will use Okta as the identity backbone of it all.

“Okta for developers” was a theme during several keynotes. I think every breakout session timeslot had 2 or 3 sessions focused on something related to developers. Be it a deep-dive into the intricacies of securing SAML tokens, overview of APIs or best practices. Or a customer story about how a they used the functionality Okta provides to custom-build the exact services they need to provide to their users.

Read more here about Okta's news for developers

Oktane21 sessions now available on YouTube

I view myself as a «jack of all trades» when it comes to IAM. Presentation of roadmap for LCM? Yes, please! Customer story about how they handled a particular identity challenge and how Okta supported them through it? You betcha! Deep-dive into how to best handle OAuth and a developer’s take on how you avoid security hazards in SAML XML parsing? Oh yeah!

However, this means that my backlog on stuff I wanted to see and sessions I wanted to review is significant. Luckily, Okta has made all the sessions available on YouTube.

Here you can see all the Oktane21 sessions on YouTube

Looking forward to the year to come

With the momentum Okta is showing and the amount of features and functionality that are on the way, the challenge for us as a partner is to stay ahead of the curve and make sure we are as up-to-date and prepared as we can be. When Okta is ready to deploy everything, we will be ready to support our customers to help them make the most and the best of everything that Okta is rolling out – the best of challenges for sure!

So here’s looking forward to the year to come and to hoping that we all get to meet up for Oktane22 next April to review and celebrate it all!