Guest Blog | July 30, 2020

CIAM is the Key to Improving the Customer Digital Experience

Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) is a segment of the broader framework of Identity Management Access (IAM). Whereas IAM deals with authenticating internal employee identities, access, and security, CIAM is all about externals. CIAM governs the identities of customers accessing your company’s apps, websites and web portals. These customer-facing applications are connected to multiple systems and data that require built-in protections.

Companies with IAM systems, manage and secure employees and vendors with single identities approved by IT, to match the right user access with corporate systems. By comparison, CIAM-enabled customer-facing applications can have multiple, different logins, to access digital assets. 

CIAM allows consumers, customers, patients and citizens, greater control over their identity credentials. They can create their own user names and passwords. They can even use their social media or membership numbers as credentials to validate their identity. 

However, appropriate personal information for one industry, may not be acceptable for another. For example, patients probably wouldn’t use their Facebook credentials to log into a healthcare website to check their medical records. 

Make it easy for customers to work with you

Putting up roadblocks or barriers to entry will diminish the customer experience and inhibit their interactions with your company. The customer is King, and easing access to business systems is paramount for success. Flexibility and simplicity of use are key to providing the best digital customer experience. 

Eliminating website and application login friction through a well-designed, implemented and deployed CIAM will improve the all-important customer experience and your bottom line. 

Single sign-on simplifies access to multiple systems

Single sign-on simplifies and eases the customer experience. An effective single sign-on solution requires knowing your customer, their purchasing history and preferences, and leveraging their data to improve access to diverse digital assets.

Another key ingredient for success is coalescing multiple siloed back-end systems into an application where the customer only has to login once to have access to all the systems they need. This is critical for today’s digital transformation. 

This also allows customers to quickly and easily access information from an organization, even if they don’t know which department has the information. A well-designed and implemented CIAM eliminates this problem. 

Simple, yet secure, access gives customers peace of mind

Integrating multiple back-end, independent systems, goes a long way in improving the customer experience, as long as the customer-facing log-in and access are simplified, too. CIAM is more than technology enablement. The critical keys to its success are the design, look-and-feel, processes and implementation that go into making a quality customer experience, while additionally supporting cloud and hybrid IT environments.

Integrating CIAM tools with diverse and independent systems, and securely storing sensitive data within a vault with identity proofing, takes CIAM capabilities even further. An identity vault encompasses the processes of authenticating an individual’s identity sources, like driver’s licenses, SIM cards and likeness checking. An identity vault protects privacy, by verifying and authenticating the identity of legitimate users, preventing fraudulent abusers from accessing private customer data.

Simplifying and improving the customer experience with corporate digital assets is critical for business success. Digital connectivity has largely moved us from in-person, to online interactions. Just as face-to-face negative and unsatisfactory interactions can cause customers to leave and tarnish a company’s brand reputation, the online experience with a company’s website, app or web portal needs to be positive, productive, simple and easy.


Balraj Dhillon
Director, Engagements & Key Accounts Simeio