Do you think that cIAM and IAM are one and the same thing? If you have ever compared the specifications of a IAM (Enterprise Identity Management Access) and cIAM (Customer Identity Management Access), you would have found jargons like REST API, SAML, OpenID and OAuth listed in both of their specifications. Hence, it could provide you a notion of understanding both solutions as one and the same. But, the reality is that the above-mentioned technologies are basic elements to all identity management solutions whether it be cIAM or IAM. no identity management solution can work without their inclusion. The real difference that lies and matters is the environment on which these solutions are used. Hence, both solutions, IAM and cIAM are built with respective to their utility and that changes the whole picture.
And when talking about the difference in the environment, there is a huge difference in applying identity management solutions on your employees and customers. For example, you can force things on your employees for the namesake of organizational data security whereas doing the same with your customers can create a bad user experience. You cannot expect any dynamic changes in the work environment while your external user’s environment changes rapidly, is highly competitive and unstable. Hence, a stiff IAM will not be a good match when you want to manage your customer’s identity. You need a flexible identity management solution to complete the task.
cIAM is the perfect candidate for such jobs as changes can be easily performed through simple modifications. Moreover, the process encourages the choice of REST APIs that support cIAM functions into applications. cIAM also helps in acquisition and conversion. The job role of cIAM also includes easing the registration process and improving customer experience through providing customer insights. Now, I probably believe that you can figure out the difference between an IAM and a cIAM solution. Well, no IAM can provide you customer insights or improve your revenue generation.
With the much-awaited arrival of GDPR, the role of cIAM has reached another level. How? Let me explain. GDPR is all about protecting an individual’s data and for you it means- your customer. With cIAM, your users can decide about the information they need to provide to your organization and the best part is that you can acquire all the necessary information without hampering customer experience.
I hope that you have got a good idea about why you should use cIAM instead of IAm when it is for your most valuable assets- the customers.