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Customers Demand More: Developing a Reference Architecture for CIAM


Doug Simmons – Principal Consulting Analyst

Gary Rowe – CEO, Principal Consulting Analyst


One of the areas most impacted by the pandemic is pervasive digital engagement by customers and prospects. Traditional brick and mortar interactions are now digital. Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) is critically important and highly visible as it provides a public gateway to secure external engagement. CIAM is often an organization’s first “touch point” with a prospect and an on-going reflection of a brand. The CIAM stakes are high and getting higher; get it right and you’ll attract customers, drive revenue and positively represent your organization; get it wrong and your business/image and revenue will suffer.

A CIAM program, properly executed, is a conduit towards building lifetime digital customer relationships. It is all about trusted connections and on-going relationships. These digital relationships can be maintained and enhanced over time with a steady flow of updated contextual and progressive profiling-generated information that drives personalized customer offerings and improves business decisions.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to formalize your CIAM Reference Architecture. This report provides a solid framework for developing a CIAM Reference Architecture at a time where how we interact digital with our customers is absolutely essential. We review common enterprise requirements for CIAM, then describe how to build a Reference Architecture for CIAM that can fit well within the context of leading vendor offerings/directions in an effort to help you understand how to match vendor solutions to your needs and how to deploy those solutions thoughtfully and effectively. Note that this is a foundation towards building your own reference architecture. This and all our reference architectures are designed to put the end-user organization (not the vendor or integrator) back in control of your own destiny.

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