Driving Digital Success Requires a Strong CIAM Strategy


Tech Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for IT pros

Monday, March 15, 2021

Every business is now a digital one. Many companies rely on data and IT to perform their functions, from manufacturing products to providing services. The more interaction with a customer there is, the more data and touchpoints there are to monitor, which is where CIAM plays a key role.

Article 4 Minutes
Three employees teaming up to build a strong CIAM strategy that drives digital success

As every business becomes more digital, there are services and solutions available to meet their specific technology needs. Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) is one of the recent innovations to provide customers with access to digital services and properties with minimal fuss.

CIAM helps customers access a company’s services in the most practical way possible, using features like single sign-on, social media access, device-based permissions and analytics to deliver business intelligence. The key benefits include an improved and outstanding customer experience and reduced risk of identity theft and data breaches. At the functional level there are benefits from reduced operational and support costs, allowing your IT or development team to focus on more pressing issues.

As with any other digital initiative, your business needs a sound strategy to investigate, choose and deploy a CIAM solution - one that meets the needs of your organization into the future and provides a positive customer experience to maintain and improve user satisfaction. This is crucial, as the relationship between customers’ data and their level of trust defines how they interact with all firms, and how businesses are measured by consumers.

Delivering a strong CIAM strategy

The first question to ask is what your business can gain from a CIAM strategy. Aside from improved digital security and providing better customer access, firms can look to better access data, another view of customer activity and other information that can provide fuel for analytics, marketing and sales.

From the customer perspective, CIAM (even though most customers won’t recognize the term) gives them a simpler way to access business services, online stores, utilities and online activities. With consumers increasingly focused on instant access and response, they prefer access through the fastest means possible. Many also take security as something the business manages and respects on their behalf.

Ensuring your CIAM solution delivers those benefits, the business will be able to provide an edge over rivals providing access the old-fashioned way. And as more firms add flexibility to their access methods, those that don’t will appear increasingly out of step with progressive firms and customers.

Building a single view of the customer

As part of the strategy, CIAM meets another growing tech trend, the much-touted single view of the customer. A CIAM solution can provide the business with much data, including up-to-date profiles for customers or users based on their access, device and interaction history.

From a security perspective, a profile can demonstrate those customers who are high-risk, more likely to forget their passwords or have other issues. Those customers may benefit from two-factor authentication with messages sent via SMS rather than them having to go through complex processes to gain access to a service they might need in a hurry.

Integrate CIAM with your business services

To extract the maximum value from a CIAM product, a company needs to be familiar all the access routes that customers have to their products and services. They must understand existing sign-on processes in order to establish how CIAM can replace or augment them and link to other business services.

Creating a single identity for users benefits those in complex scenarios where people may have multiple logins. As part of the CIAM build, the best methods to authenticate your customers and permit access to resources can be delivered. Explore where CIAM data can integrate with other analytic tools to provide improved business intelligence and a better view of the customer. 

For the business, this reduces reliance on less sophisticated or robust services, which can save on capital spend and time costs. As the company provides new services, they can be launched faster with the same degree of protection and user authentication to protect the service and the business.

From the legal perspective, CIAM can also help support compliance with privacy regulations, such as GDPR. Customers will expect companies to be on top of these and other privacy issues, while maintaining data security and preventing breaches. A valuable asset of CIAM is helping protect the business and customers as part of a layered security scheme.

As all firms look to get the most from their digital services, CIAM helps deliver multiple benefits while protecting a firm’s most valuable asset - its customers - and keeping them happy.

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