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5 Fundamentals for Enterprise CIAM

Customer identity and access management (CIAM) is a strategic necessity for businesses to give consumers seamless, personalized omnichannel brand experiences that drive revenue. However, not all customer identity and access management solutions are equal, and enterprises must critically evaluate their identity management strategy to succeed.

As a CIAM vendor, we are biased toward outsourced customer identity management for a number of reasons, but no matter which implementation strategy you use, here are 5 fundamental features every successful enterprise-grade customer identity management solution must have.

1. Scalability

Scalability is key for global B2C enterprises that rely on CIAM for mission-critical registration and authentication. Scalability includes the ability to auto scale in response to unexpected traffic spikes from marketing campaigns, events and other triggers. A multi-tenant cloud model works well for these mission-critical use cases because there are multiple regional deployments and resources for auto scaling during high-traffic situations where registration abandonment and revenue are at stake. Dynamic replication, advanced monitoring and over-provisioning also provide fail-safe performance when traffic spikes.

Beyond traffic spikes, scalability is important for overall system maintenance. In a multi-tenant cloud model, batched service deployments, system maintenance and vulnerability patches are more efficient because they can be pushed across the identity management system in real-time without service interruption.

2. High Availability

Like scalability, high availability is critical for use cases where revenue is impacted by down time. As a reference, 99.999% availability means that downtime is limited to 0.9 seconds per day, 6 seconds per week, 26.3 seconds per month, and 5 minutes 15.6 seconds per year.

While your company may not require this much availability for individual websites or apps, it is important that the underlying infrastructure, especially for enterprises with multiple brands and digital properties, has higher uptime than the downstream components. Akamai, has many availability zones across the globe to support the customer registration experiences of global consumer brands

3. Regulatory Compliance

In the wake of high-profile consumer privacy breaches, global brands are subject to regional data protection regulations, and having an identity management system that is inherently compliant with these stringent regulations is critical. Compliant identity management systems offer customer preference centers and consent stores that streamline compliance across channels while continuing to provide seamless customer experiences. With regulations like the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)and California's recently passed data privacy law (CCPA), enterprises must collect and store customer data responsibly or risk steep fines or penalties.

4. Security

Security is critical but expensive. For large enterprises to efficiently combat cyber attacks and security threats, the CIAM system needs top-tier protection against network- and identity-based threats through scoped data access, complete database encryption of data at rest, leading service availability and data reliability, distributed backups, and disaster recovery capabilities.

Using a vendor is cost effective because costs are shared with hundreds of other companies. You are also getting added value from the intelligence and expertise the identity vendor is collecting from other companies in response to varying and changing threats. For example, Akamai Identity Cloud combines its risk-based adaptive authentication with Akamai's industry-leading security capabilities for advanced protection against digital threats to websites, applications, and API infrastructure.

5. Innovation

What makes a successful customer experience is subject to constant change as the digital landscape evolves and new technology is introduced. Your identity management solution must be able to accommodate new, fast-changing customer expectations and technology trends or risk being outpaced by your competition.

For more details and insights into enterprise CIAM visit Akamai.com/identitycloud.

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