Ask most people what identity management is, and they'll likely say "password management" – but that's just a fraction of what identity management can do. Robust identity management is built to give consumers an unparalleled experience, helping you take your enterprise to the next level.
Why is identity management essential for digital success?
In our far-reaching digital world, the number of devices, logins and channels that customers use is proliferating. As a result, customers often create widely disparate digital identities. This supplies more data to the companies they patronize. In return for sharing their data, customers expect personalized, high-quality communications and services.
That's why, to compete in your industry or market, you need to meet and exceed customer expectations. This can seem impossible in a world of rapid digital transformation. However, identity management is an end-to-end solution that enables you to consistently provide the outstanding experience that your customers demand, and much more.
Want to know how you can use identity management to achieve all of this? Here's a list of the most sought-after identity and access management features and why they're essential for your enterprise's digital success.
What it does: Your customers have a lot of passwords to remember, not just across your different channels, but for all of the digital services they use. This is problematic. According to the Ponemon Institute's 2019 State of Password and Authentication Security Behaviors, 51% of people reuse the same password on multiple websites. This is a risky practice for your business. An identity management platform allows a customer to use a single identity to securely connect with your websites, mobile apps and third-party services, including social media logins.
Why it's important: A single sign-on experience will not only reduce the password burden on customers, but it will also encourage customer engagement across all of your digital touchpoints. With identity management, you can relieve customer password issues, increase security and make it easier for customers to keep coming back.
What it does: While single sign-on gives a customer one account to access everything you have to offer, an identity solution can also allow federated SSO. For instance, with federated SSO, you can link your customers to third-party applications – such as Zendesk for customer support – while syncing this activity within your platform.
Why it's important: SSO and federated SSO allow your customers to enjoy seamless transactions on your website, even if you use third-party applications for these activities.
Unified customer data
What it does: Identity management stores all of your customer information in a single cloud-based database. This allows you to leverage customer insights in real time and deliver a personalized customer experience across all of your channels. Being cloud-based means that you have no maintenance compared to on-premises data storage.
Why it's important: Now that each of your customers' multiple digital identities can be combined into one unified identity, you'll have access to a much more complete overview of their relationship with your enterprise. This strengthens your marketing efforts for better conversions and lasting customer loyalty.
Robust account security
What it does: As data breaches, identity fraud and malicious attacks fill the headlines, customers are concerned about the security of their digital identities. That's when risk-based authentication steps in to prevent that. Risk-based authentication is used to monitor each customer's behavior, such as login patterns, IP address and location. Therefore, if anything unusual suddenly occurs, risk-based authentication will recognize this potentially fraudulent activity as it happens.
This allows you to require extra authentication measures to prove the identity of the user or force the bad agent off your site and block them.
Why it's important: Risk-based authentication gives businesses and consumers peace of mind while offering exceptional ease of use.
Customer identity management
What it does: Customer identity management allows you to see data on everything your customers have done since they first visited one of your channels, in remarkable detail. This data can include browsing and online purchase history as well as location, age, gender, search history and relevant social media activity.
User identity management also offers anonymous login, assigning an ID to website users before they've ever signed up or purchased anything. This is an effective marketing tool to reach potential customers.
Why it's important: By seeing the complete customer journey – from browsing on your site to online engagement or purchases – you can better serve your customers so that they become your advocates.
Exceptional customer experience
What it does: Whether it's a barista remembering your name in a coffee shop or a digital provider offering a personalized service, customers like to be remembered by the companies they patronize. At the very least, customers want to receive customized communication and marketing materials. But identity management allows you to do much more to improve the customer experience (CX).
For example, you can personalize loyalty programs to offer customers rewards relevant to their region, browsing history and previous purchases. User management can also ensure that customer service in-store, online and on your app are all coordinated, enabling the customer to move seamlessly between these channels.
Add password-less login to your identity provider for superior CX that keeps customers engaged and loyal.
Why it's important: By leveraging the insights that you collect through consumer identity management, you can give each customer a uniquely tailored experience that exceeds their expectations. Give them no-hassle authentication, and they'll be your customer for life.
Consent and transparency
What it does: As the general public grows increasingly aware of the potential uses of big data, customers are rightly becoming concerned about data security. Customers want clarity and control over how their data is used and by whom, and they want to know that their customer profiles are being stored responsibly. Identity management addresses these concerns by requesting consent to collect data and communicate with customers at registration.
Why it's important: Identity management offers preference management options, so that consumers have control over the use of their data, and they can change these preferences whenever they want. This transparent approach to consent shows customers that you respect their privacy, that you empower them to control the use of their data and that you provide a secure digital service that they can confidently enjoy.
Privacy and compliance
What it does: As a company handling customer data, you need to comply with privacy regulations governing what you do with that data and how you communicate with customers. The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has garnered significant attention and has paved the way for other similar regulations.
Depending on the regions that your enterprise serves, there may be other privacy and consent regulations to consider. For instance, the USA also has compliance regulations, including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which will affect any business that sells to or handles data about California residents. Proposals for similar consent regulations in other states appear to be gaining momentum as well.
Why it's important: An identity management platform should have built-in features that request, collect and store user consent every step of the way. It also makes data accessible for audits, so that your enterprise meets all applicable regulatory requirements.
Ultimately, successful companies use identity management to give their customers a personalized, exceptional online experience they cannot get elsewhere. With identity management, companies can improve security, ensure privacy and enhance a customer's online experience. In today's digital landscape, this customer-centric approach is the key to digital success.