While IAM is certainly possible — but not recommended — within legacy manual and physical boundaries, we include “digital businesses” in our definition to emphasize the broader implications and importance of digital IAM.
Digital Business Demands A New Approach To Identity
As firms exploit digital technologies to increase their operational agility and create new sources of value for customers, vital business processes will invariably traverse different customer, employee, and partner populations, hosting models, and devices. Existing homegrown or manual IAM approaches are inadequate for your digital business because they can’t:
- Support the Zero Trust eXtended (ZTX) ecosystem effectively. With the loss of network perimeters, IAM and least privilege have emerged as the most important enforcement gatekeepers to accessing sensitive data, devices, and networks. Without a robust IAM strategy, your organization can’t ensure that only authorized people, within the right context at the right time and without hindrance, can access your crown jewels: your intellectual property and the personally identifiable information of your customers and employees.
- Authenticate customers without hurting their experience. A good customer experience correlates strongly to customer loyalty and value. This means every poor online IAM experience (e.g., enrollment or authentication) increases the risk of attrition, lost sales, higher support costs, and reduced brand equity. Creating a consistent, memorable, and enjoyable omnichannel customer experience must be an obsession for your company. To ensure an experience that delights and engages customers, you need seamless IAM processes for verifying customers’ identities and managing their access and profiles. For authenticating users to their mobile apps, security pros must also consider tech beyond the traditional static password to include device sensors, biometrics, and device characteristics.
- Support workforce enablement without hurting the employee experience. An important ingredient to employee happiness is the ability to complete high-priority tasks efficiently and quickly — and mobile plays a key role here. Companies are relying on mobile apps for more business functions than ever, and interactions with Forrester clients indicate that employees increasingly want and expect certain capabilities to be available on mobile devices. Homegrown IAM solutions are ill equipped to enable maximum employee productivity; employees increasingly expect to use any device or app anywhere to do their jobs and serve customers. Mobile use displaces classic deskbound authentication options and creates access patterns that are riskier, more difficult to track, and potentially more costly to support because of confusion and frustration over the access and authentication process.6 This demands that security pros evaluate IAM solutions that can manage devices, apps, and data consistently.
Evolve From Siloed IAM Approaches To A Comprehensive Digital IAM Strategy
In a sprawling, borderless, dynamic digital ecosystem, security pros can never simply trust that users (or machines) are who they say they are and that the firm’s sensitive apps and data are safe. This means that your digital IAM strategy and architecture must adopt Zero Trust security principles and provide the right level of controlled access from any device to any internal or external application, regardless of hosting model for your customers (B2C and B2B scenarios), employees, contractors (B2E scenarios), or business partners (B2P scenarios).
With all these moving pieces, a strong identity and access management (IAM) strategy is key to making sure your corporate information stays safe from hackers and your customers and employees have positive user experiences with your digital tools and resources.
Download the report from research firm Forrester to discover:
- How IAM helps you demonstrate compliance, enhance productivity, reduce costs, and grow revenue
- How IAM supports your adoption of cloud-based services
- The four steps to building an IAM strategy for digital business