Due to the pace at which digitalization and modern IT are becoming pervasive, implementing, managing, and rethinking IT strategies concerning customer experience cannot just be limited to an IT function. While organizations should enable cross-collaboration among multiple teams and the IT department, there is also a need to consider how technology decisions affect value delivery and consumer experience.
In this paradigm shift, customer identity and access management (CIAM) becomes prominent and requires cross-functional collaboration and deliberate decision-making. On the one hand, the IT team has to ensure that consumer identities are protected while they access the resources needed for attaining value. On the other hand, CX professionals need to ensure that the consumer experience is seamlessly integrated into CIAM, and even leverage enhanced and advanced CIAM capabilities.
CIAM is no longer just an IT concern, and it should enable the organization to achieve better business outcomes by carefully balancing security and experience. Furthermore, this article discusses the five key focus areas of CIAM beyond IT.
1. Security And Experience: Balancing Trade-Offs
Historically, only relying on password-based authentication has been inefficient and insecure as users tend to use repeated passwords and follow poor password hygiene. In fact, credential-based attacks are often employed successfully in publicly disclosed data breaches.
You can, however, strengthen password-based authentication with multi-factor authentication (MFA) methods such as knowledge-based authentication, one-time passwords or unique links sent via email. While MFA offers an additional layer of security, it also introduces friction to the user experience. This is a good trade-off to improve your security if your users are as concerned about their data security or won’t mind this inconvenience.
On the other hand, it’s ideal to improve password-based authentication with alternatives such as social login, single sign-on or just one-time passwords. This helps users remember one less credential, thus reducing the possibility of affected password hygiene and inefficiencies due to forgotten passwords.
In any circumstance, the imperative is to understand your users and what they value primarily—that is, to what degree they perceive security and convenience as necessary. Once you understand these preferences closely, it becomes straightforward to balance security and experience tradeoffs in line with the business and IT needs.
2. Optimally Delivering Mass Personalization
In the digital landscape, engaging users with relevant, value-rich experiences is more important to growing revenue and building brand loyalty. In addition to authenticating and authorizing users, your CIAM strategy can act as a platform for user data centralization and process the data in meaningful ways to deliver personalized experiences. As a result, this requires close collaboration with IT and marketing to determine how to process data and serve personalization.
3. Managing Compliances And Associated Risks
With your CIAM strategy, you should evaluate CIAM solutions that integrate or offer built-in rules engines or customizations for better compliance.
Ideally, you should bring together compliance and risk management teams along with CX and IT teams to understand the requirements and streamline the trade-offs to create optimal evaluation criteria. It solidifies your organization-wide CIAM strategy and helps implement it with a closely aligned CIAM solution.
As a result, this approach is efficient as it centralizes data and implementation and simplifies collaboration among compliance, risk and IT teams. In turn, it becomes simplified to glean compliance risks and assess risk tolerance levels in near real time.
4. Seamlessly Integrating Customer Relationship Management
As you centralize user data with your CIAM, you will gain greater visibility into user journeys from signing up for a free trial or account to becoming a paid user or regular customer. This visibility helps marketing and sales teams deeply understand real user interactions and purchasing behavior, which, in turn, helps retain and grow revenue by tactically addressing buyer objections, pain points and concerns.
Secondly, the CIAM becomes the single source of truth, which helps:
•Collect, process and maintain data in a product-based cycle that allows all the teams to leverage user data effectively
•Avoid sending duplicate messaging to the same users
CIAM has evolved from traditional IAM to meet business needs by enhancing user experience and ensuring security while helping with compliance management. Hence, CIAM is not limited to IT and needs collaboration among multiple teams to realize the value from your CIAM and create business advantages.
Originally published with Forbes