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Consumer identity key to digital transformation

Customer identity and access management has benefits for consumers and service providers alike, but is key to digital transformation, says KuppingerCole

Consumer or customer identity and access management (Ciam) is necessary because “cookies can only get you so far”, according to John Tolbert, senior analyst at KuppingerCole.

“[Organisations need to do more because] customers expect a consistent experience across all channels and all sorts of difference devices,” he told the inaugural Consumer Identity Summit in Paris.

This means organisations have to enable information to be tied to identities that are recognised by computers, mobile devices and even wearables and other internet of things (IoT) devices.

To be able to deliver this, Tolbert said organisations need to be able to utilise all the information as well as control access to that information and how it is used.

For customers, Ciam enables not only a consistent experience, but also a choice of authentication methods by accepting third-party identities such as government or social media identities to log in.

For the business, Ciam enables the use of analytics to identify consumer preferences for tailoring marketing campaigns, loyalty programmes and tailoring user experiences.

“Ciam is also useful to security because by applying identity analytics an organisation can identify things such as failed log-ins that may be useful to an incident response team,” said Tolbert.

“The importance of Ciam is also tied to knowing your customer [KYC], mainly for providing a better customer experience, increasing brand loyalty and tailored marketing.”

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“But there are [some industry specific] regulations such as for anti-money laundering that also make knowing your customer an important strategy for most businesses,” he said.

As organisations move from traditional identity and access management (IAM) to Ciam, Tolbert said consumers become more active by providing selected identity information themselves.

“This happens through interaction with social network providers and with other data aggregators, and all this data is ultimately used to increase revenue and improve the customer experience,” he said.

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