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According to Gartner, These Are the Top 5 Trends in CIAM Solution Design

Jiong Liu

Customer identity and access management (CIAM) solutions are foundational to building secure, seamless customer experiences. As customer expectations keep rising, so does the challenge of creating and securing modern digital experiences on an ever-growing range of customer devices.

Because of this, it’s crucial that CIAM technologies keep developing new features and deployment capabilities. In a recent report, Gartner identified five top design trends to watch for in the dynamic customer identity space.

1. Broader Overlap of CIAM and IAM Features

While identity and access management (IAM) features are traditionally directed at employees, CIAM is positioned for customers.

However, the lines are becoming increasingly blurred. Gartner’s report finds a significant increase in features relevant to both types of identity management. Whereas once the areas of overlap were limited to password management, account provisioning, directory services and single sign-on capabilities, more and more sophisticated features are bridging the gap.

Adaptive access, for instance, uses not only standard authentication techniques like usernames and passwords, but also looks at additional context-based elements, such as the user’s device, IP address, geolocation, and past behavior. These are particularly important for building customer experiences because they reduce security risks while driving down friction in the user experience.

The increasing overlap is also due to CIAM and IAM use cases beginning to converge. For example, companies building mobile applications for customers might need to display inventory data traditionally sourced from an ERP system connected to a workforce IAM solution.

2. Better Customer Data Unification

In the past, many organizations have had disjointed customer data—which meant a disjointed view of their customers. Blind spots like this, the report says, are due to data being siloed based on the product, service or function it was collected for.

This is where CIAM comes in. Gartner observes that organizations are starting to connect these silos with CIAM solutions. Thanks to this, they can start to better understand user behaviour through customer analytics, provide a unified customer experience across the many channels on which consumers and companies interact, and more reliably ensure compliance. Using CIAM solutions in this way could help companies drive engagement and affinity—if they make the leap.

3. Greater Support for Developers

CIAM support for developers once meant something very rudimentary—organizations would provide them with the basic tools required to build fully customized systems, and little beyond that.

With CIAM solutions becoming more and more sophisticated, Gartner notes that the role of the developer has undergone a sea change. Developers are increasingly becoming strategists and decision makers, as the builders of modern customer experiences. The report characterizes organizations as having a greater deal of appreciation for developers and more frequently equipping them with the tools they need to create next-gen customer experiences.

4. Stronger Emphasis on Security

In a world of continuing data breaches and heightening security concerns, identity protection is paramount. Older methods of digital identity-proofing, such as knowledge-based authentication (questions about personal details, like a father’s middle name or first school) have become less and less secure.

Gartner recognizes that security is becoming more important—and more of a challenge. The report discusses several ways that CIAM may evolve to prevent breaches and threats, including API protection, which involves securing APIs from malicious attacks and threats, such as APIs to support mobile apps.

5. Increasing Jurisdictional Compliance

As organizations build their online customer bases and amass more and more customer data, governance grows increasingly stringent. The EU’s GDPR is the most well-known example of a regulatory framework with a global reach, but there are many others—and different jurisdictions have different rules and penalties.

Gartner’s report states the importance of adhering to privacy and compliance issues in CIAM solution design. This is an increasingly complex field—but if organizations can learn its ins and outs, it is immensely rewarding.

Gartner’s framework for effective CIAM solution design wisely looks towards the future. To hear from Gartner and Okta firsthand as we dive deeper into each of these trends, watch the replay of our recent webinar Top Trends in Customer Identity and Access Management.