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What Is CIAM, And Why Is It Essential for Your Business Growth?

What Is CIAM, And Why Is It Essential for Your Business Growth?

Blog Article Published: 03/06/2023

Written by Sara Sokorelis, Thales.

Digitization has radically altered how we work and do business. Widespread cloud usage, flexible work models, and omnichannel communication have unprecedentedly enabled us to operate online. Due to digital age demands, today’s businesses need to reinvent themselves, explore new markets, tackle growing security concerns, and ensure every digital interaction is 100% hassle-free.

To provide safe remote services combined with excellent experience, individuals must be identified, verified, and protected. This reliance on trusted digital identities has altered the very definition of Access Management, which now relates to “workforce users, as well external users”. The evolution of identity management is what we call Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM).

What is CIAM?

Analyst firm KuppingerCole says CIAM allows businesses to “register, authenticate, authorize, collect, and store information about consumers across many domains.” Unlike employee IAM, information about consumers arrives from non-traditional sources, such as their social media accounts. Companies use the collected consumer information for many purposes, such as delegating access to resources or for data analysis to support marketing campaigns in a compliant way.

Another goal of CIAM is to balance exceptional customer experiences with the highest level of security, privacy protection and compliance. This combination is crucial for company success - a recent PwC survey found that 32% of US consumers are likely to abandon a brand they love after just one negative experience.

According to Forrester, 80% of consumers see the world as “all digital,” thus, a world without CIAM would be a mess not only for customers but also for businesses. CIAM is increasingly a part of your everyday-day business, serving as the backbone of secure, seamless, and compliant digital login, transactions, and interactions.

Why CIAM is essential for business growth

Today, your customers are more demanding than ever. Trust, security, and accessibility all rank high on their list of priorities, and failure to meet them increases the risk of abandoned carts and a shift to your competitor. Let’s avoid this. Here’s how CIAM can help you offer superb customer experience and grow your businesses.

Enable scalable, secure digital customer engagements

Businesses should prioritize both customer experience and security. With such a wide range of digital options, if your customers are dissatisfied, they will switch to more practical solutions. Given that initial impressions are usually the most effective, any initial negative experience will lead to lower conversion rates of anonymous visitors into loyal customers.

CIAM can help you streamline the registration process and increase the chances of turning the 86% of anonymous online shoppers into actual buyers. This greenspace opportunity could help your businesses make considerable advantages. By utilizing the power of CIAM, you can better understand your unknown customers and customize their experiences.

Provide a frictionless user experience: Deliver simple and unified customer experiences

A good CIAM solution should provide a frictionless and unified approach for your customers to login and access their accounts using just one set of credentials. With the help of adaptive multi-factor authentication (MFA), CIAM provides more security than typical usernames and passwords. Additionally, a Cloud Identity Platform can leverage already-established social media accounts for verification, making the procedure secure and straightforward for the visiting consumer. This is crucial as 65% of consumers are frustrated by burdensome login experiences.

Comply with regulations: Ensure your organization meets the requirements of local and global legislation

To protect citizens and consumers, strict data and privacy legislations are put in place by Governments in Europe and beyond. But as data legislation evolves alongside technology, it has become challenging for businesses to keep up. This issue becomes even more significant when you’re a global business, as legislation can vary across borders. A robust CIAM solution will help businesses ensure they become – and remain – compliant in all operating countries.

Allow customers to manage their personal data: Enable user consent and preference management

Consent is a crucial principle of data privacy. Failure to get your customers' consent on storing and processing their personal data means you cannot gain insight into their online behavior. CIAM solutions allow customers to explicitly provide consent for using their information. Consumers retain control of their data, establishing trusted relationships with their favorite brands. On the other hand, your businesses can be more transparent in collecting, processing, and using customer data and you can notify their consumers of data privacy issues.

Protect against account takeover: Mitigate fraud with secure customer login

Account takeover attacks (ATO), like Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams, are a substantial threat to business and usually entail huge financial losses. CIAM allows your partners to login to your corporate systems using their identity credentials while protecting these identities from being compromised. Using Single Sign-On (SSO) and adaptive MFA ensures that digital identities are offered the best possible protection to mitigate fraud and limit the impact of a potential breach.

Discover a passwordless world: Eliminate passwords to create a more secure and effortless login experience

Single Sign-On (SSO) is a critical component of CIAM, permitting visiting customers and partners to authenticate into your systems with their own identities. Coupled with the use of biometrics, a Cloud Identity Platform enables a passwordless environment, eliminating insecure passwords and providing an effortless customer and partner login experience that is engaging and secure.

Modernize IT infrastructure: Embrace SaaS technologies that seamlessly integrate with existing systems

Having enabled a frictionless and secure authentication and authorization environment for your customers, you can now focus on scaling and modernizing your IT infrastructure and expanding to the cloud. Your business can embrace a cloud-first strategy, adopting SaaS technologies that seamlessly integrate with your ecosystem to grow your customer base and revenue further. CIAM becomes the cornerstone of your business growth.

CIAM offers a competitive advantage

Customers have a choice about trusting your brand. If you are not meeting their expectations, or if they fear their data might be compromised, they can leave without looking back. On the positive side, if you can entice them with seamless customer experiences, and protect their data and every interaction, you will earn their trust. And in turn, build the most solid groundwork to grow customer loyalty and ongoing revenue.

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