Introducing the CIAM Maturity Framework

Customers’ standards are getting higher. Accustomed to smooth Amazon-style web experiences, we now expect the same seamlessness from every organisation we interact with online. Clunky digital experiences with complicated logins and endless data requests are an inconvenience we don’t need – and can easily prompt us to abandon our baskets entirely.  

But while we want frictionless experiences, this must not come at the expense of security. We’ve seen the headlines about data breaches, and we don’t want our personal information to be involved in the next one. Balancing usability with security is a delicate balancing act for IT leaders. 

On top of this is the ever-present urgency to keep up with the competition and provide sophisticated, feature-rich applications that work seamlessly across every digital platform - creating a further headache for developers.

To meet these rising expectations, organisations are turning to Customer Identity & Access Management (CIAM) solutions to deliver the trusted digital experiences their customers demand.

Pain points in managing customer identity

Customer identity is often put on the back burner. Many organisations view it as too complex to implement, a distraction from the core business and a drain on resources they can’t afford or simply don’t have: identity knowledge and expertise can be hard to find internally. 

As a result, customer identity is seen as an overhead, rather than a strategic tool. Companies spend time and energy reinventing the identity wheel with every new app, rather than enjoying the benefits of a holistic solution and easy-to-use standard industry tools.  

What is CIAM maturity?

CIAM maturity is a way of evaluating the effectiveness of your customer identity solution.

Achieving CIAM maturity means you have a fully functional, centralised customer authentication solution that delivers fast, convenient access to your platforms while securing customers’ data from malicious attacks. This platform should also scale in response to new business requirements and shifting customer demand.

CIAM maturity enhances your capabilities in 6 key areas:

  • Customer experience: the ability to provide easy, useful and desirable experiences to customers;
  • Administrator experience: the ability to provide intuitive, comprehensive and elegant tools for managing customer identity;
  • Developer experience: the ability to provide ready-to-go code, software development kits and easy-to-use documentation for app developers;
  • Strategy: the ability to plan holistically and intelligently to deliver value;
  • Operability: the ability to provide technology services that operate effectively 
  • Security: the ability to mitigate security risk and recover promptly when incidents do occur.

The Okta CIAM Maturity Framework

We’ve combined our expertise in solving customer identity challenges with our clients’ collective knowledge and experience to develop a framework to help organisations map their journey to CIAM maturity.

You can use this to understand where your organisation is now, where you want to be, and the specific steps you can take to get there.

We’ll work together with you through all milestones of the framework, which has four phases:

  1. Understand proof of value – where we’ll explain our benchmark for successful CIAM, discuss the business value other organisations have realised, and explore how we can help accelerate your solution.
  2. Discover your current state – we’ll assess how well your current CIAM solution is performing and identify any deficiencies that are causing frustration for your customers.
  3. Create a plan to improve CIAM – we’ll leverage our insights from phase 2 to help you develop a plan for rolling out secure CIAM across your digital platforms.
  4. Commit to continuous improvement – we’ll continually assess how your CIAM investment is delivering value and suggest further actions for improving your identity infrastructure.

What to do next

If you’d like to discuss your specific customer identity challenges with an Okta expert, please ask us for a consultation

To learn more about the framework milestones, the business value of CIAM maturity, and how Okta has worked with other organisations to deliver trusted digital experiences to their customers, download the full solution brief.