From startups to established brands, organizations are recognizing that customer identity and access management (CIAM) is the foundation of digital business. Symphony Communications, a secure messaging startup, is an example of the growing number of companies making CIAM a key element of their go-to-market strategy. CMO Barry Castles explains why CIAM was one of the company's first initiatives, saying, "We think identity services are important to get right from the ground up, not added on later in a robot-wars type of approach, assembling bits and pieces as you go."
Symphony Communications is not alone in this philosophy. Other companies are embarking on digital transformation initiatives, and entrepreneurs are launching new companies in the face of unprecedented digital opportunities. They're discovering how important secure, reliable and efficient identity management is in engaging online and mobile workforces and customers.
Here are five reasons these organizations are making CIAM a top priority:
Customers Expect Personalized Engagement Individual relationships with customers are not only possible in the digital world; they're now necessary to improve customer experiences. The days of marketing to customers as large masses are long gone. Customers want personalized brand relationships, and they're willing to share their identity and preference data in exchange for relevant communications and offers. They also expect conveniences such as social login and control over their data with self-managed account capabilities.
Security Is Not an Option Data breaches are a nightmare for your customers and your workforce. They can threaten the overall success of your organization. Companies understand that data security is a vitally important part of protecting valuable personal data, brand equity, customer loyalty and the bottom line. Securing the perimeter of data centers is no longer effective because a wider range of mobile technologies and apps require data services across a growing number of channels and devices. Security policies should accompany the data no matter where it's used. This requires CIAM solutions that support data security best practices like centralized management and end-to-end encryption.
Regulations Are Increasing In Response to Privacy Concerns Concern over who can access personal data and how it's used is growing among customers, the workforce and regulatory organizations. CIAM solutions that can manage individual preferences and fine-grained data-use policies are critical to successful business strategies and legal compliance. Consistently enforcing privacy controls across multiple devices and channels enables organizations to use data more confidently as they engage with customers on their terms, in ways that protect privacy and comply with regulations.
Business Agility Enables Competitive Strategies Digital business moves fast, and the pace is only accelerating. Responding to market needs quickly is key to remaining competitive. Most customer engagement innovations, from mobile apps and online services to Internet of Things (IoT) devices like fitness trackers and smart refrigerators, require identity data. Organizations need CIAM infrastructures that deliver APIs and flexible on-prem or cloud deployment options to rapidly and securely provide identity services to a growing number of devices, apps and endpoints.
Identity Data Is Growing Exponentially Identity data is no longer limited to name and email address. Today's technology is capable of capturing infinitely more data about each individual. Identity profiles can now include information like purchase histories, website page visits, age, location and much more. Plus, these profiles continue to grow with each interaction a customer has with your brand. A CIAM platform capable of handling this increasing scale will help companies realize the full value of customer identity data.
These five dynamics are shifting the priority that companies place on identity management. What was once a back-end function for supporting the workforce has expanded into a strategic driver of customer-facing digital business initiatives. Bolting modern identity management capabilities onto legacy systems doesn't work. Today, successful organizations implement identity management solutions as part of executing on new business models. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Customer IAM to help simplify the effort and give you everything you need to put you on the right path.