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Online Consumerization Booms: Recalibrating Customer IAM (CIAM)


Gary Rowe – CEO, Principal Consulting Analyst

Doug Simmons – Principal Consulting Analyst


Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) is a topic we’ve covered for a long time, but the pandemic changed the cadence of discussion. In our report four years ago, we characterized CIAM as an “emerging” category. Two years ago, we declared that CIAM had “emerged” and last year we described CIAM as maturing. With an unprecedented movement toward online consumerism during the pandemic lockdown continuing, we should now address the foundation to support the new requisite scale, security capabilities and privacy issues while we prioritize user experience. This report factors these new requirements into our updated vendor analysis/short-list and concludes with new enterprise CIAM recommendations.

CIAM is important and highly visible as it provides organizations with a public gateway to secure external engagement and is a critical element of any Digital Enterprise program. This report offers recommended customer-centric IAMstrategies, architectural approaches and pragmatic, experience-based advice. CIAM differs from traditional (inwardly focused, enterprise) IAM because of its greater emphasis on user experience, privacy and consent management, increasedscale, integration with CRM/marketing systems, and a business/sales focus.

This report provides strategic and tactical recommendations for enterprises building an IAM foundation for customer/prospective customer engagement and external stakeholders in the context of business goals. This report covers:

  • The enterprise CIAM value proposition, core updated requirements, business rationale and a risk assessment
  • Developing a CIAM strategy and action plan
  • The CIAM market and new vendor short list
  • Recommendations and next steps

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