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TIER Investor Survey Results and Program Look Forward - Your Engagement Is Key

May 22, 2017, by Meredith Lovelace
Tags: Recent Posts, TIER, Trust and Identity in Education and Research

by Klara Jelinkova, VP & CIO of Rice University and Chair of the TIER Community Investor Council

This year’s Global Summit included an exciting Trust and Identity lineup. When you have a moment, watch the keynote from Ian Glazer, a well-known identity expert; the Great Identity Debate on whether SAML is still relevant as the underpinning of federations; and the session providing an overview of the governance changes in Internet2 Trust and Identity. Links to these and other sessions are included in TIER at 2017 Global Summit in DC - A Review.

The Global Summit also featured several demos related to TIER, including an interesting new user consent module being developed and tested at Duke University (CAR - Consent-informed Attribute Release), and Internet2’s use of the TIER components to create a self-serve collaboration environment for working groups and others. The demos showed the increased momentum of TIER changes and releases.

The participants in Trust and Identity track sessions, meetings, and hallway conversations observed that

  • Trust and Identity continues to gain increasing visibility
  • The pace of the TIER software development has picked up considerably
  • We need more campuses to get involved in testing and feedback.

As you know, TIER will not have big-bang releases, but instead changes will be developed, tested, and incorporated into the software when ready. For this to work, we need more campuses involved in testing and providing continuous feedback. Functional review and testing is not difficult and is key to this iterative development process. It should only take a few hours of your time. Try to install it. Kick the tires and give us feedback so we can fix what does not work for you.

At the TIER Investor Meeting, the TIER Community Investor Council reported out on the TIER Investor survey conducted in March and April. Thank you to the 36 (out of 49) investing schools that participated. Here, in no particular order, are some of the results:

  • 90% of investors use Shibboleth and are members of InCommon.
  • 60% of investors use Grouper (this is a more than two-fold increase from 2014).
  • COmanage (the core of the new registry component) adoption remains low (5%) and has not increased. Registry is the most requested missing component.
  • TIER investors appreciate the community nature of this work particularly the working groups and the exchange of ideas TIER provides. Communication was viewed as sufficient.
  • Most investors need help with transitioning to TIER (roadmaps, requirements mapping and consulting services).
  • Support support services is a key need.

We are halfway through the three-year TIER startup funding and have turned our attention to creating a sustainable model (both funding and staffing) for the TIER program to succeed and progress into the future.

Again, I invite you to download and test the TIER software. Kick the tires and provide some feedback. Thanks!