Digital business initiatives are now the driving factor behind many customer experience strategies. To meet customers where they increasingly spend more time, companies are shifting products and services to mobile and online devices and channels. This trend will continue to have strong ripple effects throughout companies, most noticeably for the IT teams tasked with building the customer-facing apps, portals and programs that make digital engagement possible.
IT professionals are handling increased demand for more apps. But they're also creating apps that must serve a complex variety of functions across customer touch points, and these apps rely on customer identity data. That's why identity application programming interfaces (APIs), or reusable services embedded with identity data standards and protocols, are becoming more important. They help IT teams quickly roll out new apps by eliminating the time-intensive need to repeatedly recreate code.
Identity APIs can include individual customer attributes, communication choices, privacy preferences and relationships to other identities and devices. APIs make it easier to provide apps with ready access to one source of customer data while uniformly enforcing your security framework. They enable functionalities such as password recovery, customer profile management and preference and privacy enforcement in every app at every customer engagement point.
If you're ready to start building identity APIs, here are some key considerations and guidelines to get you on the right foot:
Get to the data. Discover where your data is located, especially if it's stored in disparate data stores.
Query your API for data. Develop a framework to structure your queries by following existing standards such as SCIM.
Govern data through APIs. Ensure your data governance policies are applied across multiple applications by automating enforcement through your API.
Secure access to your API. Carefully define the data each app should access and always secure your communications with SSL/TLS.
Configure logging and audits. Configure the minimum amount of logging information that operations and audit teams will need to monitor data usage and build reports.
Building identity APIs will be time and effort well spent. You gain the advantages of efficient and consistent identity services that ensure data security throughout the organization while shortening time to market. Your software development teams will certainly thank you.