In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
Identity is a fundamental component of any organisation’s growth, and CMOs cannot take advantage of a myriad of new technologies – such as mobility, the cloud or the Internet of Things (IoT) − to achieve a competitive edge in the market if they do not have a scalable and repeatable identity strategy.
Without one, CMOs have no way to identify and engage with their customers in a meaningful way, whether it be through a laptop, mobile phone, tablet, technology wearable, or the next great connected innovation. Companies that do not employ a comprehensive identity strategy, even when they’re investing in revolutionary new technologies, could unintentionally give competitors the upper hand when it comes to bringing in sales leads.
Essentially, customer identity management platforms use identity to create a single, persistent view of customers, bridging all of a business' department silos. These platforms use data to build profiles that help CMOs engage with their customers more effectively and efficiently, and also offer the opportunity to create new revenue-generating initiatives that capitalize on this customer data.
Achieving a granular understanding of who customers are and what specifically they need enables CMOs to provide more efficient, more secure, and more relevant services and products.
The benefits of implementing an effective customer identity management platform include:
- The ability to use real-time context to automate access and security decisions, and to offer personalised services based on real buying habits.
- A single overview of the user across the organisation, which enables users to share valuable data across different departments and unify security
- Increased ability to facilitate repeatable business processes, accommodate millions of concurrent users and devices, and shorten typical deployment times compared to legacy vendors.
Historically, however, businesses have relied on traditional identity and access management (IAM) systems, often cobbled together from disparate technologies. This approach made for unwieldy “product suites” that were overly complex and replete with numerous redundancies and compatibility issues. These products often took years to deploy and fully integrate, putting a bottleneck on potentially revenue-generating initiatives designed to streamline and accelerate sales. Niche IAM players created streamlined solutions to address specific business-related problems, but without any overarching identity solution, CMOs had no way to truly grow sales or experience any real ROI by leveraging these identity technologies.
Companies aiming to play a central role in the IoT will need to take a different approach, one requiring a unified identity model. The core tenet is that identity should be exposed in a single, repeatable way that makes it easy to roll out new products and services to any application, device or thing, thus accelerating time to market and achieving a desired advantage over competitors. The goal of this tenet is to provide new services quickly, taking development time down from years to weeks.