Lasse Andresen
June 5, 2023

Time to evolve IAM: the road to customer centricity

Time to evolve IAM: the road to customer centricity

Having just attended some of the major identity conferences around the world, I have mixed feelings about how the market is moving. On one hand, there is great innovation and a lot of really cool stuff happening, and on the other, we continue to have the same stale security centric discussions. 

As I mentioned in a previous article, security is important and definitely a table stake. But the conversation, the use cases and the innovative thinking should not stop there. It’s the starting point, but there is so much more we can do. 

To clarify what I mean, let’s take a look at some authorization examples. 

We are all familiar with family and group recommendations as it relates to things in our private lives like Netflix and amazon - but what about using group and family networks to offer up the opportunity for better experiences for customers and to better understand customers to be able to offer new, related products. 

Let’s look at the insurance world, where insurance policies are attached to one person, however include many others. The others on this policy, the context in which they are related and the policies they are attached to are very often buried somewhere in the insurance back-end. Or, if we think of healthcare, permission to access records or share information with others is simply a record stored somewhere and very difficult to access and make operational.

By lifting up the context of these relationships, say in insurance, for example, we are able to provide the other beneficiaries of the policy access and over to these policies, but they are also now able to use this information to provide more relevant products and services, delivering an upsell opportunity otherwise lost to data buried in the backend.

Do your current authorization solutions allow you to look at the group, family or network of connections and access? If you have a loyalty program or ecommerce site - how are recommendations managed between family members? Or have you as a customer been able to easily set up and deploy permissions for another friend or family member to use your credit card for transactions up to a certain limit?

What about if you are working with other B2B partners or want to expand your customer journey and experience with other 3rd party providers. How do you make sure that your partners have compliant access to the right information to make decisions? What about the sharing of data to unlock services, like if a hotel loyalty application wanted to partner with an e-scooter provider and offer it as a service extension? Would you be able to create a frictionless experience for your customers, or are you making them work for it with barrier after barrier of credentials, profile creations and consents? 

These examples are designed around the customer and what offers them the most benefit, ease and value. With a CIAM solution leveraging a connected data model, these examples are very achievable, secure and private. They are also beyond the reach of most of the CIAM solutions in the market today. 

As we look at consumer life and the market conditions, it’s obvious there is still much opportunity for greater digital penetration.  Which means there is a wealth of opportunity to innovate existing services. Take it one step further - with the billions of devices, sensor and Iot data comes just as many opportunities for monetization. 

One example, and quite a strong one, is monetising data that comes from vehicles. The combination of a data-driven operation that puts the consumer experience first isn’t necessarily what we think of when the auto parts and repair industry comes to mind. Connected cars and other vehicles are data collection machines. Building these out as an e-commerce offering is where the auto parts industry is headed. 

But monetisation doesn’t just doesn’t only lie in just data and data science - it lies in access to data, who has rights to analyze this data, who has purchased this data and who can possibly purchase this in the future. 

When you think about the amount of data coming from a single vehicle alone it is compelling, now compound that by entire fleets - we are talking about massive returns and otherwise unlocked revenue potential. These are complex authorization use cases, cases that aren’t squarely focused on security but more focused on the unlocking of value and revenue for businesses. 

Needless to say, data is incredibly valuable and the companies out in front today have realized this in all corners of their business. 

So, my challenge to industry again - do we continue to go the way we are currently going - securing access and then looking back, or do we look ahead at what we can do to enhance customer experience, create new use cases and leverage identity data for growth? 

I hope you will join me in shifting old perspectives towards delivering customer centric solutions that the market wants. 

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