4 CIAM Trends Defining the Future of Customer Identity


Tech Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for IT pros

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

The rise of the digital age has led to an increase in customer demand. End-users now expect faster service than ever before and the traditional notion of the 'customer' has irrevocably changed. To contain and satisfy this demand, businesses have had to adapt fast and utilize CIAM.

Article 4 Minutes
Female tech professional on laptop looking for customer identity access management trends

Digital trends are sweeping the consumer and business landscape. While social media and cloud services grab the headlines, business leaders are focused on the privacy and security issues that come with them. Customers simply want a quick way to access the apps and tools that dominate their lives. When it comes to supporting them, businesses are catching up with customer identity and access management (CIAM) trends that’ll help drive sign-in services into the future.

Everywhere we look there are cloud services and tools to support businesses in making the best decisions based on data and analytics.

1. Security and privacy

The growing swathe of data protection legislation from GDPR to CCPA sees all companies increasingly aware of privacy and protection issues. As a result, layers of digital security, from next-generation firewalls to zero trust tools, are being adopted to protect the business. These trends see CIAM solutions gaining rapid visibility to ensure customer ease of use and confidence, and security.

For businesses, the use of security services, as with cloud-based productivity applications, reduces capital investment, saves on staffing requirements and allows companies to get up and running with services like CIAM without extensive effort.

Already, regulated and risk-averse firms are moving to private and hybrid clouds to reduce investment in costly infrastructure. Startups and high-growth companies benefit from cloud technology, enabling them to develop compelling and competitive services faster.

As far as customers are concerned, they want easy access to services and more control of their privacy. Meeting their needs builds confidence in the business, reduces churn among customers and demonstrates that any firm, from a retailer to service provider, meets their needs when it comes to always-on, instant-access services.

2. Managing user complexity

The myriad of access solutions often causes pain and confusion among customers, trying to establish a suitably convoluted password, remembering the names of previous pets or other information. Add to that the growing number of security breaches, identity theft and digital fraud stories, and companies face twin pressures to make things easy for customers, yet secure.

CIAM can meet those needs, helping understand the context of a user’s access; they could be on a laptop, phone or talking to a smart home device, all creating different access requirements. Ensuring access is simple and secure, through an authentication process that leverages the users’ device context and data helps better understand their needs.

On the back end, cloud systems with API and SDK tools are available to build a system as bespoke or practical as required to manage user identity. They can be fine-tuned to meet each company’s specific needs, delivering security and protection while helping IT, customer and sales teams focus on day-to-day operations.

3. Improving the user experience

All businesses are focused on delivering a smooth and well-integrated user experience (UX). CIAM technologies play an important role in combining a successful UX with security to help impress prospects and keep customers.

Applying CIAM services to the front of web pages, apps and other touchpoints helps to create that positive impression from signing up to accessing sites and services. User experience is in a never-ending state of evolution. For access, it’s moved from passwords to logging in with social media or using physical security on smart devices, with blockchain and other elements likely on the way. Integrating these through CIAM will become a key part of maintaining and improving the customer experience.

4. The future of customer engagement

As part of customer experience, all digital roads pave the way to better customer engagement. Whatever the service, store or activity, consumers are moving faster than ever, using digital methods to rebuild their lives in a post-COVID world.

CIAM plays a crucial role in building stronger customer engagement as part of the overall experience. It can help build trust with users; it’ll be with them, whatever device they’re using and provide the best way to access a service. As consumers move from phones to wearables and voice-first devices, all companies will need to evolve to manage access and deliver on the engagement needs of the business. 

These trends among others will help define how businesses choose services like CIAM, and deploy them to improve how they ensure customers enjoy a strong experience as they sign in and interact with services.

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