Digital identity is at the heart of every company's digital transformation. The value of customer profile data tied to customer identities has increased dramatically and is now a critical success factor for many businesses.

This data is not just important for security and compliance. It is also used for analyzing, understanding, and anticipating user behavior and customer journeys from first contact to purchasing decisions, including long-term brand loyalty.  

Keeping in view the importance of customer identity, in this post, we will look into what CIAM is, why it's crucial for your business, and which are the best platform offering CIAM service.

What is CIAM?

This acronym stands for Customer Identity & Access Management, which consists of managing the identity and access to your customers' data.

More specifically, CIAM makes it possible to identify your customers, get to know them better, unify repositories and manage their consent. CIAM guarantees simplicity for customers, security, and compliance with laws and regulations.

 It is also a key technology for improving acquisition and loyalty processes, for example, on eCommerce sites, during promotional campaigns, or in the management of customer areas.

What is the difference between CIAM and IAM?

It is common to believe that the technology required for a customer identity and access management (CIAM) is the same as traditional identity and access management (IAM) in the enterprise.  

Traditional IAM solutions, also known as an enterprise, employee, or personnel IAM, are IT systems that ensure that only company personnel or known business partners can access the corporate network and its resources.

IAM solutions are generally well established, which leads some companies to believe that since they already have this technology in-house, it shouldn't be too complicated to extend it to their customers. This approach stems from the vast underestimation of the differences between staff IAM and customer IAM and the complexity of managing customer identities relative to a company's digital properties accessible to the public. 

The CIAM has different and much higher requirements than the staff IAM. As a result, recycling IAM solutions for staff can be problematic. Since traditional IAM solutions are designed to facilitate employee access to internal systems, they cannot provide information about a user's identity. Indeed, the personal data are processed by this CIAM. Companies need these types of data to understand their customers and stay competitive in the digital market.

Why CIAM is important, and why does your small or medium business need a dedicated CIAM platform?

The customer wants a smooth and personalized experience when making a purchase. Indeed, the simple acquisition of a quality product is no longer enough to completely satisfy a consumer. Therefore, your business must be in a position to create a perfect customer experience.

With CIAM, you can learn more about consumers, enabling you to create seamless, consistent, and personalized omnichannel experiences. Personal data is protected, and their management is simplified while facilitating updates.

The CIAM acts on not only your loyalty strategy but also the protection of the data of your site and your users. Thus, the CIAM guarantees compliance with regulations such as the GDPR. The security of the data of your online store and consumers is one of the essential arguments that we encounter today in digital consumption: you have to protect users, develop trust, and secure their actions. 

Dedicated CIAM platforms are designed to deliver maximum value to businesses from customer profile data. These solutions help deliver a seamless customer experience, so tasks like sign-in, authentication, or preference management don't get in the way of business. In addition, CIAM technologies meet the critical needs of securing personal data on public networks and enable global enterprises to comply with varied and ever-changing privacy regulations. 

Following are some of the best and most widely used platforms that help can your small or medium-sized business in implementing the CIAM framework:

LoginRadius

LoginRadius is one of the leading enterprise-grade CIAM platforms that offer B2C identity management solutions.

Loginradius gives you various deployment options on cloud and on-premise without you having to code. It offers SSO and multiple authentications options like passwordless login, social, phone, and multiple-factor authentication. Loginradius has a free developers plan.

Okta

Okta is another leading identity security and management solution for customers. Okta offers SSO and multiple authentication options with over 7000+ prebuilt integrations. It also offers a B2B authentication option along with features such as a universal directory for better management of users and advanced server access. Okta offers both worker and customer identity trials.

PingIdentity

PingIdentity is a CIAM platform that provides a variety of different authentication and access management options for customers. PingIdentity provides SSO, passwordless, multifactor authentication, and implementation of Zero Trust. It also gives you the features to modernize your legacy IAM. PingIdentity also has a free trial plan.

Duo

Cisco's Duo is a CIAM solution provider specializing in providing end-to-end FIPS multifactor authentication. It also provides an SSO option and adaptive access policies. Duo offers a free trial to test its authentication services.

OneLogin

OneLogin is an easy-to-use CIAM platform that offers robust customer authentication and identity management features such as smart factor authentication and mobile identity in addition to SSO and MFA. OneLogin offers a 30-day free trial.

Azure's Active Directory

Azure's Active Directory is a CIAM solution provided by Mircosoft Azure. Azure's AD provides SSO and MFA solutions for managing and authenticating consumer identity.

You don't have to pay extra for Azure AD if you use the Azure cloud.

SAP

SAP provides a CIAM platform for effective customer identity authentication and management to avoid security and compliance issues. SAP CIAM provides an on-demand free demo.

IBM

IBM also provides cloud-native and on-premise CIAM platforms for businesses in different industries. The features include various customer authentication methods and the implementation of Zero Trust. IBM offers a free trial of their CIAM service.

ForgeRock

ForgeRock is a CIAM platform that specializes in providing efficient and secure customer identity management and authentication services to businesses in the healthcare industry, including hospitals and insurance firms. ForgeRock also offers a free trial of its services.

JumpCloud

JumpCloud is a cloud-native CIAM platform that offers a number of different customers identity management features such as SSO,  user lifecycle management, and integration with Google Workspace and Azure's Active Directory.

Final Words

Where traditional identity and access management drives connections to business applications, CIAM follows the customer's digital journey and how they want their personal data to be processed, and it's only going to become more and more important. That is why investing in a good CIAM platform that meets your company's requirements is more essential than ever!