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πŸ“ˆ State Identity Solutions: Build? Buy? Or Both?

πŸ” Buyable state identity solutions help state governments keep up with the customer experience citizens are used to getting into the private sector.

Recently, I attended a National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO)

Committee meeting where one state gave an impressive presentation on how they built their own Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) for all of their citizens. It was a massive undertaking that took the better part of four years and required buy-in from the highest levels of the state government.

Not for the faint of heart, but to this state’s credit, they did it.

Enrollment is up, and applications have been added. However, even by their own admission, if they had to do it again, they may have chosen to buy or consider a hybrid approach (build and buy).

A modern state identity solution like Auth0 provides the option for governments to do both: build and buy.

The Rise of Citizen Digital Services

Current and potential customers sometimes cite future uncertainty as one reason they choose to keep IDaaS development in-house, but digital citizen services are here to stay. NASCIO recently affirmed in their 2021 State CIO Top 10 Priorities that digital citizen services, Identity and Access Management (IAM), and the shift to cloud are all top priorities.

As a result, Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) solutions and statewide Single Sign On (SSO) for citizens should remain top priorities to work towards for state IT. In fact, as the digital natives age, the demand for digital citizen services will only continue to grow, as will the expectations for competitive customer experiences.

The public expects to interact with the government the way they do with other websites and applications like their bank. There is a growing understanding of this among state governments and other public sector institutions. Subsequently, those who opt to build IDaaS solutions from scratch will be forced to adapt, support, and scale with the speed and agility of private SaaS companies.

But building the solution is just the beginning.

Customizable CIAM for Custom Applications

Departments that opt to build their own CIAM solutions will have to keep up with changes, emerging threats, breaches, and outages, along with emerging compliance and privacy requirements; then there’s the need to keep pace with citizen demand for new features as the internet evolves.

In government administrations that change frequently, CIOs leave. The potential of the solution becoming antiquated or obsolete is real. By having a modern state identity solution as at least part of your solution, you can still private label it as your own while using a pre-built solution that can be quickly picked up by a new development team.

Cloud-based identity solutions like Auth0 provide an elastic identity engine that can expand or recede. It provides a nice hedge against the future, just in case.

Another reservation expressed with the β€œbuild” approach is the β€˜speed to service’. How quickly can state governments make applications available to the general public by building them versus partnering with custom IDaaS solution companies like Auth0?

Typically, one of the most critical parts of a project is wiring up applications for identity. States can take months, even years developing their own IDaaS solutions and slow the rollout of their applications. This can mean citizens are not getting access to crucial services for long periods of time.


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