The Business Value of Customer Identity: IDC Survey

Technology simplifies things. Think about your smartphone. With a few taps of its screen, you can eliminate the drudgery of everyday life, like cooking and cleaning. It provides instant access to information you need, like commute times and stock prices. 

Identity is another example of a modern approach. Today, strategies around your customer identity approach and the latest CIAM (Customer Identity Access Management) tools are all about efficiency. Like your smartphone, they give you the data you need to make informed decisions, and the tools to quickly solve difficult problems. 

If CIAM is a smartphone, then a legacy home-built identity solution is an old "brick" phone from the late 1990s. Sure, it takes calls and sends texts. But it won't help you work smarter and faster. 

If you're familiar with the benefits of CIAM, you understand this well. But if your modern identity journey is yet to start, you're probably a bit sceptical. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," I hear you say. 

Fair enough. In this post, I'll give you concrete examples of how CIAM helps businesses become leaner, more productive, and more profitable — and I’ll back them up with stats from a recent IDC survey of Okta CIAM customers. 

You'll learn about how modern identity improves security, developer agility, and user experience (UX). And we'll give you the information you need to start your modern identity journey. 

1. Reduce developer and operational costs 

Implementing a login box is easy. Building something that’s slick, scalable, and secure? That’s hard.

And, let's face it. Your engineers didn't join your company to work on identity challenges. It's a complicated, time-consuming, and high-stakes business. They want to build creative solutions to your biggest problems. 

The Okta Customer Identity Cloud is designed for developer agility. It handles the hard stuff. 

Your developers can implement advanced functionality — like single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and social logins — in a matter of minutes. It includes the inherent advantages of cloud SaaS (software-as-a-service) with maintenance and scaling handled on your behalf. 

With a single, centralized identity platform, you can start to remove operational bottlenecks. Okta Customer Identity Cloud makes it easy to automate IT operations, deploy time-saving self-service mechanisms, and consolidate all your identity-related information into a single location. 

With each developer hour redirected from identity-related tasks, your business saves money. A recent IDC survey of Okta CIAM customers found an average cost reduction of $147,000. 

2. Increase revenue by reducing onboarding friction

We all hate logging into things. And who can blame us? 

Authentication is a barrier between your customer and the thing they want to do. Sure, that barrier exists for a reason. It protects your customers. But it also adds friction. 

CIAM technology allows you to reduce that friction without compromising your defensive posture. Tools like social login allow your customers to authenticate using the accounts they already use. No new passwords required. 

And because Okta Customer Identity Cloud is designed for visibility and flexibility, you can add friction in a contextual way. 

We make it easy to write business logic that triggers an MFA challenge when the user authenticates from a new location. With a single source of truth, our Adaptive MFA can identify suspicious login attempts and act quickly to protect your customers. In practice, this means you don't frustrate legitimate users. 

This flexibility makes it easier to strike a balance between security and user experience. You can even use Okta Customer Identity Cloud to personalize the user experience. For example, you could write custom logic that provides a discount code when a customer returns after some time, or just signed-up. Happier customers are loyal customers. 

3. Protect your customers and your reputation 

Breaches are bad. 

No, they're truly awful. And I'm not just talking about the steep financial penalties imposed by legislation like the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA). 

Nor am I talking about the cost of remediation. Responding to a breach requires all hands on deck: engineering, security, PR, and leadership. 

I'm talking about trust. Security incidents undermine the confidence your customers have in your product and your ability to protect their data. 

Okta Customer Identity Cloud is designed to help you face online threats head-on. We've already talked about Adaptive MFA, which lets you add friction when the context requires it. 

Because Okta Customer Identity Cloud is a SaaS platform, we can see malicious activity in aggregate. With more data points, we can identify suspicious IP addresses and attempted credential-based attacks in real-time. This protects everyone

Okta Customer Identity Cloud makes it easier to create strong password rules, or ditch passwords entirely in favour of SSO (single-sign on) or social login. It proactively detects and blocks brute-force attacks, as well as suspected bot activity. It even warns when a customer reuses a previously-leaked password. 

These features combine to make our customers, and your users, safer.

4. Better Data, Better Decisions

"Data driven" is a popular business buzzword. For good reason. Data is essential for making prudent, evidence-based decisions. It’s the raw material of analytics. 

As businesses strive to make empirical decisions, they’re looking for more sources of data. Identity is a logical source. It’s the first touchpoint between the customer and your application. It provides the subtle clues necessary to build profiles or infer consumption patterns. 

Okta Customer Identity Cloud makes it easy to access the data trapped within your identity infrastructure. Our customers use this to deliver real business value. 

To estimate the potential benefits of Okta Customer Identity Cloud for your unique business, please check out our ROI calculator

With a few easy data points, it builds a realistic estimate of future revenue growth and conversion rates. Our detailed, tailor-made breakdowns will show you how quickly Okta Customer Identity Cloud will pay a return on investment and fuel future business expansion.

To learn more about the value that CIAM customers are deriving from Okta, check out what they had to say in this IDC survey.