If you haven’t already heard, there’s another important acronym to add to your growing list. This one is a goodie and if implemented effectively it could be a game changer for your organisation.

Customer Identity and Access Management, better known as CIAM, improves the omni-channel experience for the customer by combining siloed back end systems into one comprehensive solution – giving the customer access to every service they need in a click, while significantly upgrading organisational risk related to security.

By merging multiple secure components including Authentication, User Management and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), CIAM removes barriers for the customer and makes for a seamless UX that is safe and secure. 

CIAM solutions can be easily integrated into either modern or legacy applications within an enterprise and leading solutions have adapters to make the process more simple.

Here’s four reasons why Identity and Access Management (IAM) and CIAM is important, and why you need it in your business.

Your customer expects a streamlined experience 

One of the major reasons consumers leave the page or abandon the cart is poor user-experience. A messy, fragmented UX prompts customers to switch off and find an alternative and your competitor gains the advantage. With biometric logins replacing passwords and the accelerated use of digital devices and services during the global pandemic, consumers expect simplicity and speed. 

An inconvenient security process or multiple steps to complete a transaction could have a serious impact on your bottom line. CIAM streamlines the login and authentication process, providing a secure experience for the customer during their entire journey. For example, the use of digital identities from providers like Google, Facebook, Government and Bank IDs, reduce the likelihood of abandonment when customers use the ‘sign in with..’ capability.  As Fran Rosch, CEO of ForgeRock points out – “Today’s end user won’t tolerate a poor experience, and business can’t risk security vulnerabilities.” 

Ability to scale as your business grows 

Scalability is a crucial requirement for any software solution and the same applies to CIAM. Every customer has their own identity that requires protection, and as your business grows the need to provide additional security increases. 

CIAM also enables the user to have greater control of their information across every platform and application, websites, apps and more – enabling a frictionless experience that isn’t impacted by device or location. 

Furthermore, CIAM allows the user to manage their passwords and their identity data and consent preferences. With regulations including Privacy Act 2020 providing improved control and transparency of data and privacy, you’re benefiting from an additional feature that ensures you’re a trusted custodian of customer data. 

Ana Kutcher, Customer Marketing Specialist at OKTA wrote recently about seamless service from a distance – “armed with the right tools and know-how, they’ve (businesses) been able to quickly scale up to provide seamless, secure customer service, even from a distance.”

Secure customer credential storage 

A significant benefit of CIAM is secure storage of customer credentials. It’s the equivalent of hiding your precious valuables in a vault inside another vault locked in a secure passageway – effective storage maintains the security of sensitive information and prevents it from falling into the hands of hackers. 

In addition, CIAM provides multiple layers of security such as tokenizing customer identities to remain separated from sensitive information while in storage. The data is also encrypted and hashed to provide further privacy. Crucially, this also enables you to monitor what you collect and if you’re allowed to use it – a significant bonus for compliance practice. 

Trusted CIAM platform OKTA believes a strong CIAM strategy will ultimately help you protect your users and their information and provide them with greater control over their information. 

Improve workflows and resourcing 

With customers empowered to manage their own data, consent and passwords, this significantly reduces the impact on help desks and provides an opportunity for businesses to consider the distribution and digitisation of workflows in teams. 

The reset of passwords and requests of this nature are time consuming for both employee and customer, therefore a quick and easy self service option provided by CIAM improves experience and increases capacity in teams. A retrieve or reset can be as simple as an email or text message, enabling the customer to get back to their task and have peace of mind knowing their credentials remain safe. 

By digitising complex admin processes such as this, workflows are improved, and the customer experience is streamlined for a swift and satisfying resolution. It may also prove to be a cost effective way of reducing duplicated tasks and the overlap of siloed systems by bringing everyone into one place securely. 

By prioritising the implementation of a CIAM solution in your business, you’re not just bringing on another tool. You’re removing barriers, enabling a smooth and frictionless user-experience, enhancing security & reducing risk by protecting valuable data, gaining insights into customer behaviours and increasing the potential of your workforce to deliver better digital services instead of resetting passwords. 

CIAM is much more than an access tool for customers, it’s an essential piece of kit that can improve your bottom line and provide a competitive advantage. 

If you’d like to know more about investing in an essential business solution that can change the game, our team is available to talk through the benefits in more detail and provide an action plan suited to your organisation. Contact us today.