(Source – Shutterstock)

From digital transformation to digital-first for customer identity and access management 

Customer identity and access management (CIAM) have been a prerogative for organizations hoping to understand their consumers better. In recent times, the adoption of CIAM has seen an increase, especially with businesses adopting more digital solutions to cater to their customer needs.

In fact, a study by IDC commissioned by Okta showed that the pandemic has either accelerated or highlighted the need for digital-first strategies, with 72% of APAC organizations realizing the need for digital-first strategies, and another 21% having already anticipated the need for such strategies prior to the pandemic. This awareness has led to widespread adoption of CIAM solutions, with 56% of digital-first leaders having already deployed CIAM, and another 32% planning deployment in the next 12-24 months.

Despite this, the study also revealed that there is still a low level of CIAM maturity among organizations. Only 34% of digital-first leaders and 14% of digital-first followers have adopted an advanced approach toward CIAM.

An advanced CIAM approach is defined in the study as an approach where customer identities are managed via a CIAM platform with full integration to enable 360-degree customer overviews in order to deliver a highly personalized experience. Digital-first leaders with a high level of CIAM maturity show better business outcomes such as customer acquisition, customer loyalty, digital talent attraction and retention, and time to market for new products and services.

customer identity

(Source – Okta)

According to Linus Lai, Vice President, Software and Services APEJ at IDC, enterprises are leaning more into digital-first strategies as evidenced by this study, and one of the most important strategies that CEOs in this region have identified is to leverage pent-up demand from customers and consumers by improving on digital product and services experiences.

Lai added that CIAM is fundamental to delivering a seamless experience whilst keeping customers’ service experiences around assurance intact.

Echoing Lai was Philip Goldie, Vice President and Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand at Okta. Goldie pointed out that organizations today need to embrace digital-first strategies to succeed in the hyper-competitive digital economy.

“A well-integrated, secure, and seamless CIAM solution is the key to ensuring the most optimal digital user experience for customers and end-users,” commented Goldie.

For Ben Goodman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Asia Pacific Japan at Okta, organizations need to level up their CIAM deployments in order to reap the full benefits that it brings, such as better customer satisfaction, business agility, and resilience against an ever-evolving cyber threat landscape.

The shift in customer identity and access management

In a separate report, IDC predicts that by 2022, more than half the global economy will be based on or influenced by digital technologies. As such, organizations would need to adopt a digital-first strategy to compete and succeed in this increasingly digital world. And this can be achieved if the organization prioritizes customer satisfaction, business agility, and innovation beyond traditional metrics such as revenues.

Moreover, digital-first organizations are re-imagining ways to improve productivity and digital experiences across the whole ecosystem involving vendors, partners, customers, and suppliers. However, these transformations brought up a number of challenges, especially around customer identity verification and access security. The top three challenges highlighted in the study include difficulty defending against malicious attacks (9%), combining customer access through multiple channels (9%), and managing customer privacy content (9%).

With security being a concern, investments in CIAM technologies have become a necessity to enable a secure and personalized digital experience. CIAM solutions provide organizations with better visibility to ward off cyber threats across systems, allowing for better defense from malicious cyberattacks.

Currently, Australia (67%), Singapore (66%), and New Zealand (60%) were the top three regions with a strong digital-first strategy in place. In addition, regions with higher percentages of digital-first organizations are also more likely to consider CIAM as a top priority investment for their organization. New Zealand (90%), Australia (87%), and Singapore (72%) were among the top regions that considered CIAM a top priority.

With that said, enterprises should look for the best ways to invest in CIAM solutions for operational efficiency, improve their security posture and enhance their customer experience.