Digital native businesses: Pioneering the digital landscape securely with CIAM

What follows is an adaptation of an article from the second issue of Okta’s Identity Spotlight magazine.

From food delivery to cryptocurrency, digital native businesses (DNBs) have grown exponentially over the past decade, driving economic growth and creating new jobs. According to International Data Corporation, DNBs are companies that use cloud-native technologies and leverage data and AI across all aspects of their business. To keep that data secure, Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) becomes a natural and necessary part of the architecture. In fact, CIAM is critical to the success of DNBs as it allows them to provide seamless and secure customer experiences while meeting compliance requirements.

In Okta research conducted with Kantar, we found that in the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region, about a third of DNBs consider themselves ‘extremely knowledgeable’ when it comes to understanding CIAM. Furthermore, 73% of the DNBs in the APJ market consider CIAM a critical part of their overall digital strategy. As cybercrime and data breaches become increasingly common, these figures reveal organisations are headed in the right direction.

Having CIAM solutions implemented within the backend architecture is key as it acts as the virtual “front door,” keeping data safe while providing easy access to websites and applications. While businesses know the importance of implementing a CIAM solution, choosing the right one for the business can be challenging.

Employees in office look at monitor

Build vs buy: Making the right choice for your business

A majority of DNBs in APJ have in-house CIAM solutions. Businesses often choose to build rather than buy because of data privacy concerns and a desire for complete control and ownership of the solution. The remaining 34% of organisations surveyed in the Kantar report say they use an off-the-shelf solution, citing high scalability and reliability as their key reason. What holds organisations back from exploring SaaS-based solutions is often migration complexity, followed by cost.

While in-house solutions give organisations greater control and ownership, having an external application can actually be more cost effective in the long run. CIAM platforms are also built with security as a core tenet, and because they have a deeper level of expertise, they can identify any issues and resolve them quickly.

Importance of CIAM as part of overall digital strategy

For many businesses, gathering customer information securely is crucial to their success. One such example is, a Singaporean enterprise known for developing the yuu app. yuu is a loyalty coalition program that rewards consumers every time they make a transaction. From the get-go, the organisation chose to deploy Okta for its longstanding reputation in Identity. With the goal of a big bang launch, there was no room for error, so the team chose to leverage Okta’s expertise to ensure all of its stakeholders could access the app securely.

When it came to cost, took a long-term view and looked at opportunity cost instead of the total cost of ownership for implementing an external security solution. By having experts in the field manage the security and compliance side of the business, engineers were free to do more innovative work that would build other revenue-generating solutions.

Data scientist

Supporting scalability, reliably

One of the benefits of entrusting your organisation’s Identity management solution to a third party is the flexibility it enables. Every business wants to scale quickly, but being able to do so while ensuring the best level of security for customers can be challenging, particularly in a space that’s always transforming.

For SafetyCulture, a SaaS company in Australia that helps organisations globally keep people in the workplace safe, providing a connected experience with ease of access was key. Being a DNB that’s constantly evolving, moving to a third-party CIAM solution made sense, as they could let their in-house developers focus on innovation rather than the nitty-gritty of an in-house security solution.

Quote from SafetyCulture CTO

Having an in-house security solution means constantly keeping up and anticipating the next developments. By freeing up the mental space and workload from their engineers, SafetyCulture can focus their attention on building and innovating new solutions for their customers instead–scaling up with expansion into new markets while maintaining a seamless experience, no matter where in the world their customers are.

Choosing the right CIAM solution for DNBs

It’s undeniable that CIAM is critical to the success of any digital business, particularly DNBs that come with the promise of flexibility and growth. So, finding the most suitable solution that provides seamless and secure customer experiences while meeting compliance requirements is key.

Whether you choose to build your own or buy a third-party solution, weigh the overall pros and cons with the long-term big picture in mind to drive secure and sustainable growth. Read more about CIAM with Okta, or contact our Sales team for guidance today.