In 2016, the majority of industries were less than 40% digitized. That's astonishingly low, considering how digital strategies can be drivers of success for many companies. Why the slow adoption?

To make a significant impact on company performance, a digital transformation must happen over multiple dimensions — not simply in products and services. CEOs need to make fundamental changes in marketing and distribution, business processes, and supply chains in order to create a comprehensive digital strategy that truly positions them to excel.

Yet when effecting a digital overhaul, it's critical to continue to keep your customer in mind. Ensuring smooth customer engagement will help you maintain sales and overall growth during a series of major corporate transitions.

Outsourcing your customer identity and access management (CIAM) is an excellent step towards achieving this. Moreover, a thorough, one-stop CIAM solution can provide companies with even deeper insights into their users' identities and behaviors and secure highly sensitive data against hackers.

How CIAM Gives You an Edge Over Competitors

Across all industries, more than 60% of companies have not yet made investments to modernize. The separation between those that have made the right updates and those who haven't is stark: as digitization sweeps through all industries, companies in the top quartile of modernization will capture disproportionate gains, while those in the bottom quartile will see increasingly depressed revenue and profit growth. The gap will continue to widen.

CIAM can help ensure your team is a leader within its peer group by improving your interactions with customers. Three specific benefits CIAM can provide are a frictionless registration process, a single view of your customers for a more personalized experience, and extensive security measures for user data.

Frictionless registration

86% of users report frustration when creating new accounts. Switching tabs several times just to access your homepage could create enough irritation to halt the activity of existing or potential users. Decreased engagement leads to fewer sales. A CIAM strategy that encompasses passwordless methods, however, can be your chance to shine:

Screen showing different passwordless authentication methods with Magic Link selected

SMS, magic link, and Touch ID are three tools Auth0 uses to help its customers ensure a smooth set up process.

  • SMS involves users entering just their phone number to sign up.
  • Magic link relies on just an email address.
  • Touch ID uses your unique thumbprint.

"86% of users report frustration when creating new accounts. SMS, magic link, and Touch ID are three tools Auth0 uses to help its customers ensure a smooth set up process."

In addition to simplifying sign-ups, these three solutions contribute to a consistent user experience after an account is created, supporting a higher level of engagement with a company's suite of products and/or services over the long term.

Finally, passwordless can also help mitigate the insecure practice of users recycling the same password for several accounts when a password reset procedure is triggered.

Creating a single view

Single vision is becoming the norm for retail and media companies in particular that wish to stay competitive. Catering to customers demands in-depth knowledge of their interests and behaviors. Outsourced CIAM providers like Auth0 are able to create an extensive profile for each user in a company's system, which tracks and manages logins and devices along with users' purchase histories. If your company opts for social login, this profile will also pull their specific interests and relationships.

A central profile set is created by integrating different login options

If a user opts to log in from multiple sources (e.g., both Facebook and Google), your team can link these accounts back together, integrating both sets of information.

A single, detailed vision of each of your customers is an excellent starting point for integrating this rich information into your CRM or e-commerce system and making more calculated decisions — such as tailoring which pieces of content your users see. Matching articles and/or advertisements to your audience's specific likes, interests, and histories can give them a more personalized experience on your platform.

Secure user data

In addition to being a cornerstone of your team's growth strategy, an impenetrable CIAM setup can help ensure the data of your users is safe from cyberthreats. Data breaches like Equifax's, Yahoo's, and Myspace's nearly destroyed these companies' reputations. With Equifax, in particular, multiple lawsuits followed, and government investigations paved the way for major fines. Revenue loss from Equifax's customers shifting to competitors TransUnion and Experian depressed its growth. While no tool can 100% guarantee the safety of user data, CIAM mitigates the risk of your company losing enormous sums of money in the short term and its good standing in the long term.

Users will appreciate your implementation of a two-factor authentication (2FA), for example — i.e., relying on a second set of information, such as an SMS code or a fingerprint to gain access.


Example of two factor authentication using a Google Account

"Auth0's extensible platform offers an additional Anomaly Detection feature with different shields to help handle suspicious events, rapidly identify how they happened and work to minimize damage."

2FA has a high success rate for keeping cyberthieves out; in fact, many experts believe that 80% of major data breaches in recent history could have been avoided had organizations correctly set up 2FA. Management technologies like Auth0 have 2FA already built in, making the process simple for teams making the shift to digital.

CIAM can also help you track users' behavior throughout your system. If a breach occurs, your team can rapidly identify how it happened and work to minimize damage. Auth0's extensible platform offers an additional Anomaly Detection feature with three types of shields to help handle suspicious events, such as a breached password with another third-party service.

View of Auth0 Anomaly Detection interface

Turning on one of these shields, such as brute force protection, will automatically send email notifications and block the suspicious IP addresses.

Taking such clear steps to protect your users will go a long way towards building their trust and ensuring their consistent use of your platform.

Tracking and securing your customer data is essential to maintaining integrity; however, if you're located in the EU, it is also critical for complying with GDPR. With fines for non-compliance being up to €20 million or 4% of the global annual revenue (whichever is greater) — even if your team is an industry leader, the financial and reputational pitfall of losing this sensitive information could send you into a tailspin.

Going Beyond CIAM: Think Platform IAM

While CIAM is a critical component of a digital shift, it cannot solve all of your organization’s needs. Companies must consider B2B, B2E and IoT use case scenarios as well. A combination of CIAM with B2B or B2E use cases, in particular, can help you achieve and maintain an industry-leading position.