The 3 “S’s” IT Leaders Should Reevaluate When It Comes to Consumer Identity Management

There are more digital pathways leading to your organization than ever before, and that number continues to increase. While the rise of digital, social and mobile channels equates to more visibility and opportunities in a general sense, this electronic morass has created multiple, disparate user identities across touchpoints – placing additional barriers between your customers and your organization.

To coordinate all these channels and pathways, it’s no longer enough to accommodate identity internally. Enterprises must formulate an external identity management strategy that meets the demands of today’s savvy consumer.

IT leaders can do this by re-evaluating the three S’s required for an effective organization-wide identity management infrastructure: security, scalability and savings.

Security: Tightening the Gates

Research and analytics firm Gartner has called bring your own device “the most radical shift in enterprise client computing since the introduction of the PC.” By 2017, Gartner predicts that half of employers will require their employees to supply their own device for work. As an IT leader, you’re probably dealing with the need to reframe your internal identity management infrastructure and re-evaluate security to support a current or upcoming BYOD policy.

What BYOD has done to internal security, fragmented consumer channels and identities have done to external security. The risks raised by these disparate streams necessitate the implementation of a stronger system that includes multi-factor and risk-based identity authentication and a single, yet highly secure, identity management database.

  • Two-factor authentication (2FA): The additional protection provided by a two-step login can provide enhanced security for your customers. This added layer of security can be applied to both traditional and social login.
  • Risk-based authentication (RBA): As identity management moves beyond just employees to include partners, consumers, sub-contractors, and other constituents, business need to reevaluate what constitutes a “trusted user.” Risk-based user authentication keeps your customers and data safe by evaluating user identity in context during the social and traditional login process, and requiring additional authentication to verify identity if an abnormality is detected. For example, if a user who typically logs in from California logs in from China, RBA may require him to answer a security question or enter a 2FA security code to prove his identity.
  • Secure Identity Management database: The most flexible and efficient solution for managing the sprawl of user identity is through a secure Identity Storage platform that provides a centralized hub to consolidate and view user data acquired from multiple sources that is ISO certified, Safe Harbor compliant, and conforms with governance regulations and complies with all the terms of service for social networks.

Scalability: The Age of Big Data

For today’s organizations, big data is a big deal. The ever-expanding stream is tied directly to consumer identity management, and your company must be able to manage identities in a scalable framework that can handle big data in an actionable manner across multiple devices and channels. Furthermore, your external identity management database must be architectured to accommodate complex data structures such as likes, favorites, interests, friend lists, and more, in addition to basic data such as email addresses, ages, full names, and more.

Dynamic database architecture for identity management, such as Identity Storage, can store and aggregate all forms and formats of data from multiple sources while providing capabilities for cross-campaign usage by automatically distributing them into third-party platforms.

Savings: Leveraging Actionable Data

As a third prong for strategic identity management, look to re-evaluate the time, resource and cost efficiency of your solutions. You need a fast, reliable, and easy way to transform massive amounts of raw data into actionable consumer insights that can be reported to cross functional departments: marketing, product management, business analysts, and organizational leaders to effect timely decisions that capitalize on your collective findings. In addition, consumer expecting personalized experience which is not a luxury anymore, but rather expected design.

With solutions such as Consumer Insights, you can access detailed visualizations of behavioral data and first-party social activity from anyone who connects with your organization online across multiple touchpoints and serve this data in real-time and/or batch fashion. Data is normalized and displayed in a simple, centralized web-based dashboard that ties behavioral insights to purchase behavior and strategic key performance indicators and can be automatically distributed to multiple third-party systems in your ecosystem, such as email marketing services (e.g. ExactTarget, Silverpop, Responsys), recommendation engines (e.g. RichRelevance), CRM systems (e.g. Salesforce), and more.

Bringing it Full Circle

Uniting fragmented customer identities across channels is no longer an option for organizations looking to remain competitive in an ever-diversifying digital ecosystem – it’s a must. By evaluating and re-strategizing your security, scalability and savings potential, you can realize a more efficient consumer identity management framework that streamlines the process flow for your entire organization.

By Sergey Krayniy