I recently was able to attend Consumer Identity World USA 2017, a new event that's put on by KuppingerCole. If the title isn't obvious enough, the event is all about how enterprises are tackling the ever-growing topic of consumer (or customer) identity.
At Ping, the challenges around customer identity have been a major focus of ours for a long time now. We've taken a lead in our industry by acknowledging that customer identity challenges can't easily be solved with legacy enterprise identity and access management (IAM) solutions. But knowing what we know and what we've been able to solve for our customers, I wanted to dig deeper and hear what the experts had to say. Ironically, attending the event ended up being less of an eye-opener and more of an affirmation that Ping's approach to customer identity is already on the right path.
But I was so happy I attended, and I'm excited that people are finally talking about customer identity in a productive forum. I'm very thankful that KuppingerCole is providing a place for these conversations to happen, and I'm glad to know that Ping's already doing a lot of the right things. Here are my top three takeaways from the event...
1. There's no silver bullet for customer IAM.
More and more, enterprises are learning how difficult it is to solve for the massive scale and complexity of customer identity with an existing legacy enterprise IAM solution. Unfortunately, to try and solve customer identity challenges, there's still a litany of fragmented solutions available, with bolted-on Frankenstein proprietary models that cause as many problems as they solve. There's still no silver bullet that hits the bullseye, but one steel thread did seem to exist--the use of standards was key in almost every session. It's reassuring to know that our purpose-built, standards-based customer identity and access management (CIAM) solutions are paving the way to success.
2. Balance is king.
For employees and partners in the enterprise, it's important to balance security and usability. But this is even more vital with customers, and striking the right balance with privacy, security and usability was a major theme at the event. Why? Because customers have a choice. If they don't feel their identity is secure or if their experience with the products they use is too cumbersome and clunky, they can easily walk away into the welcoming hands of a competitor. This is substantially different than an IAM solution for employees, which is also why a purpose-built customer IAM solution is so important.
3. Customers demand convenience and expect it for free.
At Ping, we've been able to solve enterprise-grade challenges in the customer identity space for some of the world's largest, most demanding corporations. But along the way, we've also learned a lot about the customer mindset and how it can affect an enterprise's decision on a customer IAM solution.
Number one is that customers don't like to be inconvenienced in any way. An example that was brought up was a bad experience trying to close tiny ads on a device, but the ads were too small to tap and constantly opened a browser window when tapped instead. This is anything but a convenient experience, which can and does lead to customers walking away. Number two is that consumers don't (and won't) pay for the services enterprises use to keep their identities secure and ensure their privacy. In Europe, GDPR is a regulation that requires companies to protect their customers' personal data and privacy. These regulations and demands from customers will force every enterprise globally to rethink how they manage customer identity. Check out our GDPR countdown page to see how Ping is at the tip of the spear with both GDPR and Open Banking.
It all boils down to purpose-built customer IAM platforms
The number one thing I learned at KuppingerCole's Consumer Identity World USA 2017 is that Ping is already well on the right customer IAM path. As companies try to solve customer identity challenges, they're often building one-off, from-scratch solutions because their existing employee IAM solutions don't cut it. But the reality is that solving customer identity requires an IAM solution that's built to handle massive scale and complexity, with a keen ability to balance security, privacy and usability.
These solutions will need to do more than protect the user at the time of authentication and authorization. A well-equipped solution needs to account for identity and profile data at rest, in transit and across a multitude of channels. And solutions can't be too narrowly focused--they need to cross multiple disciplines like single sign-on, multi-factor authentication and access security, as well as accounting for data-layer protection with data governance and directory services. If you'd like to dig deeper and see how Ping is leading the customer IAM charge, read the KuppingerCole Leadership Compass on CIAM Platforms.
Whether you're in European markets or North American markets that are affected by GDPR, join our webinar on October 18th at 10:00 am EDT to hear how Ping and KuppingerCole are tackling the six critical steps to compliance and brand differentiation.