How brands should position identity & access management for employees and customers
Identity and access management (IAM) solutions were originally used by companies to control employees and contractors’ access to enterprise resources. As consumers have become more digital savvy, companies have adopted identity management programs geared toward customers to gather omni-channel data for improved business insights and enhance user experiences. While similar, customer-centric IAM has added features and is a relatively new category for IAM that specializes in registration, authorization, authentication and management of customer identities: Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM).
Crafting a Well-rounded Identity Management Strategy
A large enterprise looking to succeed in the digital age should craft an identity management program that includes considerations for customer IAM separate from traditional/employee IAM. The core functionalities are the same, but each have unique feature sets for their different use cases. In a digitally-transformed enterprise, the employee IAM arm includes access controls for different internal systems and permissioning for each department, team and individual contributor. The customer IAM arm should go further to integrate with the CRM, marketing automation stack, content management systems and other applications, according to the KuppingerCole Leadership Compass, to create a single-view backend for better customer insights. It also needs to provide a key customer-facing element: registration and login. With CIAM, an enterprise can aggregate data from different accounts and engagement points, which enables a single view of the customer throughout their journey and creates a seamless omni-channel registration and user experience in store, on desktop, mobile devices and more.
The Specifics of Customer IAM (CIAM)
As a CIAM industry pioneer, Janrain recognized the need for an enhanced IAM solution designed specifically for customers early on and created a cloud-based identity platform, Janrain Identity Cloud®, that world-renowned brands like Pfizer, Samsung, Philips, McDonald’s and Dr Pepper rely on to securely manage billions of identities and offer seamless, omni-channel customer experiences. They all benefit from the Janrain Identity Cloud feature set that is optimized for large-scale consumer use cases. To adequately do this, the Janrain Identity Cloud enables the following key features — among others — on top of standard IAM capabilities: scalability, user experience and security.
In a CIAM use case, the volume of identities is much larger, as a large enterprise will have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of customers in its database. A cloud-based identity management solution can scale to accommodate tens of millions of identities, perform during traffic spikes from marketing campaigns and other triggers, and adapt to complex use cases where customer identities, device identities and identity relationships are managed.
- User Experience
User experience (UX) is a consideration that is unique to CIAM. For a traditional IAM program that is used for employees only, UX is important but not critical. Employees will have a higher tolerance for less streamlined UX because, frankly, they do not have a choice. In a customer use case, enterprises risk losing a customer who has a bad user experience. According to Chatbots Magazine, 91 percent of unsatisfied customers will not return for a repeat purchase or service. With Janrain, enterprises can translate the benefit of a single-view customer dashboard on the back end to a front end UX where customers receive personalized communications and streamlined registration and login across digital properties that complement offline experiences.
While both employee and customer data privacy are important, enterprises are collecting customer data that is arguably more sensitive than employees (e.g. banking information, medical history, online behavior), and in today’s privacy climate, data security is simply non-negotiable. A sophisticated CIAM solution must be held accountable for its security standards and be able to reduce an enterprise’s risk for breaches. With CIAM, information security, IT and marketing teams must align with their vendor to assure rigorous safeguards are in place to reduce risk. Janrain leads the CIAM category in accredited third party certifications and proudly earned a number of top security certifications, including: CSA STAR Level 2, ISO 27018, ISO 27001:2013, SOC 2 Type II, HIPAA and HITECH. In addition, Janrain has partnered with Akamai, the world’s largest and most trusted cloud delivery platform, to provide an added level of security to shield Janrain clients and their customers from data breaches.
The future of identity management
Digital transformation is a strategic investment on most near-term enterprise business plans, prompting business leaders to work cross-functionally to put an identity management strategy in place. Rather than retrofitting a traditional IAM solution to accommodate customers, pragmatic business leaders should build out a larger identity management strategy, where employee and customer IAM are subsets with different features to align with their vastly different objectives. Identity is becoming a core part of brand strategy, further emphasizing the need to make sure identity management is designed for success. By implementing a dedicated CIAM solution, an enterprise will benefit from the scale, user experience, and security needed to successfully serve customers in the digital age.
Founded in 2002, Janrain pioneered Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) and is widely recognized by industry analysts as a global CIAM leader. The Janrain Identity Cloud provides identity management, security and activation solutions that enable seamless and safe customer experiences across their digitally connected world, while providing enterprise organizations with deep customer insights. Janrain’s identity capabilities include social and traditional login and registration, single sign-on, customer profile data storage and management, customer segments, customer insights and engagement solutions. The company reaches over 1.75 billion digital identities with over 3,400 commercial deployments. Janrain is based in Portland, Oregon, with offices in London, Paris and Silicon Valley.