Frans Verhoeven, Partner Delivery Manager at iWelcome, shares his insights and experience on the pivotal role of CIAM in digital transformation programs.
I was requested to write a blog on the pivotal role of Consumer Identity & Access Management (CIAM) for digital services and/or transformations. Being an IT-savvy guy, this sounded like a no-brainer to me. But how to bring across the message in such a way that my friends and family will understand it as well?
Luckily, Facebook jumped in to save me!
In his blog post on the Cambridge Analytica case, Mark Zuckerberg did a great job explaining the essence of CIAM when he described the actions Facebook will take to guarantee people’s privacy. Thanks Mark!
The 3 points below – as summed up by Mark Zuckerberg – show exactly why CIAM is key!
- “We will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform to dramatically reduce data access in 2014, and we will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity. We will ban any developer from our platform that does not agree to a thorough audit. And if we find developers that misused personally identifiable information, we will ban them and tell everyone affected by those apps.”
- “We will restrict developers' data access even further to prevent other kinds of abuse. For example, we will remove developers' access to your data if you haven't used their app in 3 months. We will reduce the data you give an app when you sign in -- to only your name, profile photo, and email address. We'll require developers to not only get approval but also sign a contract in order to ask anyone for access to their posts or other private data.”
- “We want to make sure you understand which apps you've allowed to access your data. In the next month, we will show everyone a tool at the top of your News Feed with the apps you've used and an easy way to revoke those apps' permissions to your data. We already have a tool to do this in your privacy settings, and now we will put this tool at the top of your News Feed to make sure everyone sees it.”
The essence of Consumer Identity & Access Management
In essence, CIAM is about connecting and protecting people, things and IT. This goes for an organisation’s customers, business customers, employees, external developers, Internet-of-Things devices, IT systems, etc. By providing people (and most recently also IoT devices) with the right access rights, they can connect to your organisation the way you want them to.
The core of CIAM can be explained via three pillar points:
- Sharing and securing personal identity data - Digital identities consist of stuff as username, first name, last name, gender, address, phone number credit card details, IoT devices, etc. Organisations in the midst of digital transformation need this information in a multitude of IT systems. Sharing and securing this data is a core functionality of CIAM.
- Access and Authorisation - Making sure only data is shared which is needed, but also making sure the right access is granted to the right people is key to CIAM.
- Provide people with the right tools to protect their privacy - As incorporated in the EU’s GDPR legislation, organisations should expose the data they have on individuals and ask for consent when necessary. It is all about making people aware of how their data is being used. Privacy is critical and allowing consumers access to the data you hold on them is not only a strict requirement of EU’s GDPR legislation: it is critical to build trusted relationships!
A great example of CIAM in practice is provided by Steve Jobs in a movie that went viral recently:
Whether your digital transformation program is a greenfield project, if you’re about to add new digital services or it concerns replacing the complete legacy IT landscape as first step in the further digital transformation: these 3 pillar points will inevitably cross your path.
All in all, it’s still a no brainer for me. But believe me: making this CIAM magic happen in the background in a smooth and simple user flow is quite a challenge. The recent Facebook scandal more or less proves my point. For this reason, at iWelcome we do not only provide a state-of-the-art CIAM product: we also partner with the best of the best of organisations to support you in this journey.
Feel free to repost this blog on your website or social channels! But when you do so, please be so kind to mention the source and give us a notice via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partner Delivery Manager at iWelcome
Frans has extensive experience in leading complex IT projects in Identity & Access Management and Digital Transformation. For the last three years at iWelcome, Frans has been responsible for client onboarding and delivery. As of February, Frans has changed to the role of Partner Delivery Manager, focusing on expanding’s iWelcome’s ecosystem.