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Caroline Wattson
Caroline Wattson

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What Is Customer Identity & Access Management, And Why It Matters?


CIAM simplifies every business task that deals with your customers on an individual basis, including those that haven’t registered on your site yet. With a single data hub for all identities, CIAM seamlessly links authentication, customer management, sales, marketing, business intelligence, and services.

Companies focusing on providing their customers with an excellent digital experience should also consider providing a personalized experience. Businesses must create a 360-degree view of the customer profile based on interactions with the company to achieve this.

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At the same time, businesses must ensure the security of these data to maintain customer trust.

A Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) system is one-way businesses can achieve these dual goals: providing an excellent customer experience while ensuring reliable security systems. "If your company isn't using CIAM, you risk falling behind competitors making the most of the technology and the customer data it collects."

What are the benefits of using CIAM:

1. Streamlined Customer Experience

A smooth login experience for your applications and services reflects that you’re up-to-date and interested in providing the easiest possible way for people to try out your digital offerings. A streamlined customer experience delivered by an organization reflects that it's up-to-date and concerned about providing the easiest login possible.

2. Security for Data and Accounts

A standard CIAM system provides essential security features that safeguard both data and account access. For example, risk-based authentication monitors a customer's usage patterns to spot unusual activity (and therefore potentially fraudulent) activity.

If you need an extra layer of security, you can enable multi-factor authentication (MFA), which verifies a customer's identity by requiring a second step, such as entering an SMS code or clicking an email link.

3. Scalability and Uptime

With one CIAM solution, you can manage all of your digital identities--whether they're used for business or personal use. And by consolidating all of your accounts into a single system, you can ensure maximum reliability and minimize the need for resources.

A central login system makes it easy to add new services as they come online, and automated failover ensures that downtime is kept to a minimum. As your digital ecosystem grows, a modern CIAM solution reduces the workload for your IT department and makes it easy to expand your business.

4. A Unified View of Each Customer

When you connect the data gathered from all of your services and websites, you get a complete overview of each customer. With a full picture of everything a customer has done since the first time they visited your site, you’ll have access to real-world data in startling detail.

You can use this data to monitor customer journeys across multiple apps and services, create marketing personas that reflect your customers, design new products or special offers, and direct your customers towards choices that will benefit the both of you.

5. Advanced Login Options

In today's digital world, businesses need to stay ahead of the curve and implement login options that are not yet widely adopted.

i. Passwordless login: It makes logging in to your website easier and more secure. It uses a customer's email address or phone number to send them a one-time link that they click to log in, making it easier for customers to remember their login information because there is no need for them to remember yet another password.

ii. One-Touch Login: One-Touch Login is a new feature that allows customers to log in to your site with a generated link sent to their email address or a one-time password sent to their phone. Unlike Passwordless Login, which requires them to create an account, One-Touch Login doesn't require the customer to submit any credentials.

iii. Smart Login: Smart Login is an authentication technology that allows users to access IoT and smart devices with a quick and secure login. It delegates the authentication process for smart TVs, gaming consoles, and other IoT devices to other devices that are easier and more secure for entering and managing passwords.

6. Optimized Data Collection

As customers become more savvy about handing over their data and more cautious about how businesses use it, businesses can leverage CIAM to collect information in more respectful ways.

Progressive Profiling allows you to collect customer data over time, as and when needed. You can start by building a basic profile with the simplest login details (like name and email, or a social login request for just these details). You can then ask for more information as needed depending on which of your products customers use.

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By investing in a CIAM solution, you can simplify your user experience, create and maintain a safe and secure digital environment, and guarantee compliance with the latest privacy laws. Moreover, a CIAM is an investment that will produce solid returns over the long term—increasing customer retention and bolstering your reputation as a responsible business making use of the most effective identity management practices.

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