What is Customer Identity and Access Management?

What is CIAM?

CIAM stands for customer identity and access management.  AE is an example of a CIAM solution as we handle both customer identity and access management.

When you allow users to sign up or to log in – that’s the access management part of it. The customer identity part is the user information that is stored in a centralized system for our clients.

What are the Benefits of CIAM?

The main benefit of CIAM is the centralized nature of the data. So if you have multiple points of entry for a customer into your application or service, all the customer data will end up in one place.

The same applies if you have multiple sites that are part of a network. Rather than having 10 different records for one customer scattered throughout the internet, AE allows you to have a single record in one place. So customers can have access to 10 different sites, but you’re not picking up overlapping data.

This also simplifies things like data removal because you only have hit delete once and the data is removed across all records. Basically your customer records are consolidated into a nice centralized system.

What to look for in a CIAM platform?

When comparing CIAM platforms, ask the following questions:

What sort of features do they offer that allow you to be compliant with data regulations?

First consider what level of data security you are committed to offering. Are you going to offer the minimum that is required by law or do you have another framework to consider? Depending on where you live, the data regulations will vary so ensure that the CIAM understands the individual needs of your company.

How easy is it to use?

A simple question, it can be hard to know until you’ve actually tried it out. Unfortunately by that time you’ve often already invested in the product. Choose a CIAM that allows you to trial the product before committing and has a strong onboarding process. Be really clear about your need to haves and nice to haves and make sure they overlap with the CIAMs capabilities.

What’s the quality of the data that’s being collected?

Simple profile information can be kind of blown up as being this amazing thing. However, it is important that there is actually value in the customer data that is being collected. Look for data that refreshes over time automatically. For example, AE gathers data in real time to keep customer data useful. Also consider what data you actually need to meet your goals. Make sure that the data provided is actionable and not just “nice to know.”

If you have any other questions about CIAM, shoot us a message using the blue chat bubble!

Jeff Mitchell

About Jeff Mitchell

I believe technology solutions should help to connect people, but that it should be done in a fair and transparent manner that benefits all. Outside of work, I’m a lifelong video game junkie but also read quite a bit and enjoy the great outdoors for hiking and camping.