Gartner Research

Building an Entitlement Catalog: A Critical Success Factor of Identity Management

Published: 19 August 2010

ID: G00206295

Analyst(s): Ian Glazer


An understanding of assignable permissions within enterprise applications is required for successful identity management (IdM) projects, and yet, the gathering and management of this knowledge, known as entitlement management, is one of the least discussed aspects of IdM. In this assessment, Research Director Ian Glazer will explore what it takes to discover and build a meaningful catalog of entitlements to enable future IdM projects. This assessment will also highlight approaches enterprises have taken to build such catalogs and the potential pitfalls in doing so.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Clarifying Terminology
  • Gathering Entitlements
    • Systems and Platforms
    • Frequency
    • Responsibilities of the Identity Team
    • Information Collected
    • Three Approaches for Entitlement Collection
  • The Challenges
    • Entitlement Discovery
    • Scale
    • Finding Entitlement Meaning
    • Entitlement Expiration
    • Entitlement Ownership and Accountability
  • Tools and Repositories
    • Entitlement Cataloging Tools
    • Entitlement Repositories


  • Position an Entitlement Catalog Appropriately
  • Prioritize Before Starting
  • Ensure Accountability Is Established Before Attempting to Catalog
  • Facilitate the Process
  • Plan for Delays
  • Do Not Underestimate Issues of Scale
  • Reuse Existing Repositories, but Treat Existing Data as Suspect
  • Associate Entitlement Reviews with Other Processes


  • Risk in the Long Tail of Entitlements
    • Evenly Distributed Risk
    • Inversely Distributed Risk
    • Bell Curve Risk
    • Unknown Risk
    • Mitigation Requires Awareness


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