How to Build Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) Strategy

Customer identity data is the new gold. The dividends of a successful Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) is hinged on the quality of the strategy and the framework put in place. In this brief we highlight a few things on how to build an effective CIAM strategy. We have come up with the idea to organize the discussion about CIAM with banks, FIs, consultancy companies and other players in BFS industry. We invite you to join Digital identity and Access Management meeting (May 2020, London).

Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) is vital for a seamless digital customer experience. And an efficient and functional CIAM system enables a relationship between the customer and the organization, and facilitates data sharing on which cross-marketing capabilities and business intelligence activities depend[1].

According to the latest Forrester report on CIAM, 67% of the Asia Pacific market, 64% of North America market and 54% Europe market have adopted CIAM[2]. When implemented properly the result of a strong CIAM and customer engagement program is that enterprises can cement customer loyalty by designing highly personalized customer-centric online experience.

The dividends of a successful CIAM is hinged on the quality of the strategy and the framework put in place. In building an effective CIAM strategy a few key things needs to be put in place. In this brief we will highlight a few of them.

Seamless User (Customer) Experience

User experience is the linchpin of a successful CIAM program, because it is the first line of encounter with the customer. In deploying a CIAM program, key elements of the user interface mix like registration, login and authentication process. They are the touchstones of engagement on the customer journey and must be simple and easy to navigate. Research reveals that slow load times and a sluggish user experience have a devastating impact on conversion rates[3].

Single-Sign-On (SSO) Across Omnichanels

In a survey of large end-user organization, SSO was rated the number one requirement. Customers clamor for a service that is secure and seamless and gives them the ability to sign-in multiple times from various applications and sites. This is where single sign on or SSO becomes very essential in the CIAM strategy. With a single set of login credentials customers should be able to access multiple applications, just by supplying their login details once.

Integration with Customer-facing Portals and APIs

CIAM is a very important infrastructure, but it is just one tool in an ecosystem of customer-facing programs and business initiatives. The true potential of a CIAM program lies in its ability to function adequately in integration with other applications within the ecosystem. It is therefore imperative that your CIAM is able to integrate with multiple data from customer relationship management systems, marketing platforms/solutions, e-commerce platforms, fraud detection solutions, content management systems, data management systems etc.


From inception scalability and high availability is critical to the success of an efficient CIAM program. An effective CIAM program must be able to handle the load of peak periods and still run smoothly at normal periods.  Depending on the organization, it is normal to have spikes in a number of customers trying to login concurrently at the same time. There are instances when more a hundred thousand customers may be trying to login at the same time. To manage such surge and traffic without strain or risk of a system crash, it is essential to create a dynamic system supported by geographical data centers and disaster recovery centers in the event of a break down.

Compliance and Security

Customer identity data is the new gold. Customer data contains personally identifiable information (PII), which is subject to a broad and increasing variety of regulations and privacy laws. These regulations vary between regions and jurisdictions, yet businesses and organizations must ensure total compliance with all these laws[4]. Examples of these privacy laws and regulations include the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and other industry-specific regulations. Regulatory compliance and privacy laws are major huddles that tremendously increases the complexity of a CIAM strategy. Within the confines of these strict regulatory and privacy laws, organizations must find a way to ensure total compliance to avoid the back lash of data breach and the potential reputation damage.

No two organizations are entirely the same, differences and peculiarities must be giving special attention in developing a CIAM strategy. The above list is a starting point for key requirements organizations may consider in evaluating the need and possible solutions for Customer-focused CIAM services.

We invite you to attend Digital Identity and Access Management Forum:  BFSI Market taking place on 26-27 May 2020 in London. During this two-day conference, banks, Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation, Investing and Saving Alliance, PwC, and other BFS industry players  will share the critical insight and best practices on building Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) Strategy.

Visit the event’s website: or sign up to receive Forum agenda and updates.






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