All of the major analysts agree that CIAM is a key ingredient for a superior digital customer experience. But without best practices in the driver’s seat, a CIAM solution can quickly lose its effectiveness—and its benefit to the organization.
Here are the top three best practices for a successful CIAM implementation:
Balance usability with security.
How do you protect customer data without completely killing the customer experience? As Forrester found, “Customers have a low tolerance of poor UX.”(7) But they have an even lower tolerance of data breaches, so striking the right balance between the two is critical. This requires close collaboration between business/marketing and IT/security teams, which might be a first in your organization. “Line-of-business and marketing teams can no longer manage customer identities in isolation from their [security] counterparts,” says the same Forrester report.
Plan for scale.
Even if you’re just beginning your CIAM journey, plan for the road ahead. Don’t just focus on the total number of users, but on both expected and unexpected spikes in usage as well. Ensure that whatever solution you’re looking at is priced for consumer use and works at consumer speed. Response times of greater than one second don’t cut it with consumer apps.
Plan for multi-channel.
Whether you call it multi-channel or omnichannel, your customers are already engaging with you in many ways, whether via the web, mobile, IoT, call center or in-store. While you’re still in the planning stage, anticipate how your CIAM solution will facilitate the journey across channels to deliver the consistent, seamless multi-channel experience customers demand. “As you assess how a CIAM solution can help solve some business challenges, don’t overlook the importance of providing a common customer experience across all channels, as that’s ultimately what customers will expect and demand from their most favored brands,” Forrester urges.(8)
(7) Merritt Maxim and Andras Cser, Market Overview: Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) Solutions, Forrester, Aug 4, 2015.