While there are some similarities between CIAM and employee IAM, Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) goes a step further to allow companies to learn about their customer habits, and offer the best user experience possible when compared to employee identity and access management.
A robust CIAM is needed to:
- Offer customized experience for clients based on their profile and preferences.
- Improve customer login and registration process by providing customers safe and easy access to their accounts.
- Build a scalable solution that can serve almost unlimited number of customers quickly and efficiently.
From a customer perspective, CIAM enables customers to enjoy the two most important privileges. First, it lets them experience products according to their needs. For instance, if someone loves buying electronic gadgets, the customer-oriented platform can display such gadgets on the main page. Secondly, CIAM offers an easy access and secure environment by protecting customer data from fraud and privacy violations. It does so by giving customers control over who they want to see their profile and what information they want to reveal.
Simplifying the Buyer’s Journey
CIAM simplifies the buyer journey across multiple platforms while ensuring the safety of their data as they navigate through those platforms. By unifying customer profiles, purchase history, support requests, and other information, the data is used to provide meaningful interaction across multiple devices in the ecosystem.
Enhanced Customer Experience
A typical journey starts when the customer offers an email address or provides basic information such as their name and address. CIAM integrates this information with the buying history and preference to offer a streamlined and personalized solution for shopping, promotions, and memberships.
As the customer footprint increases, CIAM automatically triggers consumer data protection methods to ensure the safety of private data. This is done using methods such as MFA, multi-factor authentication as well as contextual factors. For instance, customers often use the same password for dozens of websites. Under the circumstance, the system will authenticate the customer identity using MFA by verifying a code sent to the customer’s mobile phone. Similarly, it may ask for verification if it suspects variations in location and device.
CIAM can also integrate multiple channels with a single login solution. This is useful for companies that use multiple web applications, portals, and platforms. In this instance, CIAM creates a single point-of-entry for all applications so that users can use only one authenticating method to access services.
CIAM offers a variety of other benefits as well. These include quick migration of users to an updated portal without disrupting their experience. In addition, any changes to the application are automatically reflected across the entire ecosystem. Using CIAM, developers can also apply additional security measures to comply with existing regulations across different business sectors.
Difference Between CIAM and Employee IAM
System developers often use the terms CIAM and IAM interchangeably. However, IAM is quite different from CIAM because IAM is a general term mainly used for identity management and access control within an organization. It is understood that IAM is not concerned with brand loyalty and customer retention.
Here are the key differences between the two:
- CIAM offers a customer-oriented solution, whereas, IAM is mainly used to serve internal and other parties.
- CIAM is a flexible system that can handle thousands of customers at any given time without any noticeable change in performance.
- A customer can have multiple identities in a CIAM model. Think of Gmail, where you can build multiple email accounts. On the other hand, IAM is configured around a single user identity, which ensures that every employee is accounted for.
- CIAM allows each customer to create a profile and self-register on the portal.
- Customer Identity and Access Management integrate multiple portals and devices to offer streamlined access across all channels. For security reasons, IAM is designed as a closed-system where access is granted based on user privileges.
- Customer data recorded by CIAM is used for a variety of marketing and promotional purposes. It can be used to offer a better customer experience, make important business decisions, and comply with local regulations. Employee data in IAM is usually reserved for authentication and identification purposes.
Evolution of Modern CIAM
The Internet has changed the dynamics of privacy forever. In a virtual world, brands must connect with their customers wholeheartedly giving them the confidence to do business without physical constraints. The modern CIAM does just that by providing flexibility without compromising personal data.
These systems are already integrating stronger security measures such as facial recognition, biometrics, and retinal scan that combined with 2FA offer tamper-proof security. At the backend, the IT team can manage security checkups, protocols, and guard against ever-increasing viruses and hackers.
Successful CIAM integration encourages users to share their data in the hope of getting a better user experience. In fact, CIAM solutions put people in charge as they dictate how their data is used, which eventually anonymizes personal data, so it’s useless to data thieves.