As customers can access your services from a growing range of locations and devices, adoption of customer identity and access management (CIAM) to safeguard applications and services is rising fast. But is CIAM something you really need to add to the list of internal IT tasks, when outsourcing to the cloud minimizes the impact on IT and maximizes the efficiency of your security?
1. Improved security for businesses
COVID-19 sent millions of staff home to do their work remotely. But the trend was already accelerating with remote-first organizations hiring the best staff wherever they were located, and enterprises seeking to reduce their office footprint. The same is true for your customers who’re now accessing your public-facing services from a wider range of locations and devices.
Whatever the reasons behind the changing access landscape, many businesses are having to refocus their IT security beyond the firewall as growing numbers of incoming requests and services mix with the usual network traffic, legitimate or not.
As we approach the zero-trust age of security, adopting CIAM will help deliver greater protection. Banks and other regulated markets are already fast-adopting the technology, with retailers not far behind, providing customers and consumers with simpler social authentication and easier access to the tools they depend on.
2. Cost and time savings for IT
Outsourcing your customer identity management to a cloud CIAM vendor reduces the cost and workload for the internal IT department. Adopting CIAM adds another layer of security to all businesses facing a growing number of intrusion, phishing and other hacking efforts.
While someone within IT will need to monitor CIAM for administration, governance, alerts and issues, the workload is far less than that of an internally-managed solution.
3. Business intelligence benefits
The benefits of CIAM to a company include the ability to develop a single view of the customer, while capturing, recording and managing identities and their access permissions in an automated fashion. Single sign-on also makes it easier for customers to access your services.
Sales and marketing teams can use analytics to gain valuable information from CIAM data that can help you make smarter business decisions, while personalizing the types of content customers see to improve loyalty and stickiness. Dashboards for CIAM tools can show the most popular applications used for access, popular periods for access, login failures and total logins to provide key information and highlight issues.
4. Privacy and identify benefits
With the legal landscape a fast-changing environment for digital rights and privacy issues, CIAM can protect both the company and customers as these issues evolve. A wide-ranging change in privacy policies can be easily automated at the next log-in session while compliance can be monitored automatically, and evidence provided should a query arise.
Once you’ve adopted CIAM from a partner or cloud service, you also get the typical SaaS benefits of constantly updated tools, new features as part of the package and the ability to easily scale as the business grows. As CIAM matures, it’ll undoubtedly add further value to the business as Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) becomes a standard feature.
5. Changing market landscapes and customer experience
The growth in CIAM tools will see them adopted across more types of business. The rise in media firms charging for access to content through subscriptions sees them need higher-quality access data, so CIAM is a high-profile topic for media organizations, demonstrating its value in a growing number of high-profile use cases.
And for all types of customers, they expect a smooth and seamless customer experience in 2021. From using FaceID or fingerprint access to their apps and services to one-click sign-on to websites and cloud tools, the age of furiously trying to remember some variant of a password that a customer typed in once is fast being left behind.
The rise in customer privacy and security concerns has seen these issues and the technology that can help move high up the business agenda. IT and security leaders need a rapid and efficient response, with cloud tools at the top of the list to deliver a solution.
Cloud CIAM minimizes the complexity of deploying a service, and those who fail to prioritize and deliver privacy and security services are likely to lose the trust of customers, risking a major incident and a loss of business.