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Consumer IAM Is Much More Than Simply Implementing Technology

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Consumer IAM Is Much More Than Simply Implementing Technology

Customer Identity Management (CIAM) might appear to be a straightforward exercise, but it is much more complex than the usual password authentications and easy security measures.

Simply jumping into a new technology headfirst isn’t going to ensure a successful program. 

A proper foundation for decision-making and consideration of the people is necessary for the identity management strategy to be effective. Significant changes are required when you look at issues with customer data around systems and users of an organization. Managing identities in a linear fashion is not possible like managing a production line. Developing flexible strategies that adapt to changing business and support organization chaos is necessary.

What is Customer Identity Management?

The Double Edge of Total Connectivity Keep Customers and Keep Delivering Convenience

It is a security and access management discipline that provides access to the right entities, for using the right resource, without any obstacle, with the devices of their preference. CIAM includes processes and systems that let enterprises provide a single digital identity to every user, offer authentication when they log in, access specific resources by authorization, and manage those identities during their lifecycle. 

CIAM is an important aspect of an organization’s security since it stands between its assets and users. A successful identity management program will ensure the streamlined functioning of a digital system and enhance business productivity. There is centralized management that provides seamless access to the specific resources to its users for carrying out their jobs, no matter where the employee is. 

Simply treating it as a project where you implement the technology for identity management solutions isn’t enough. You also need to take into account the audit aspect.

Why is Identity Management Strategy Required?

In the digital space, consumers have many choices, so the best way to keep them loyal and repeat customers is to provide them with a great user experience. 

Identity management strategy is the key to providing such omnichannel experiences for customers. Customer identity management enables you to manage the relationships between your business and your customers by storing relevant information about them in one place. 

It involves the creation of profiles that contain all of this information, which can be used to create personalized marketing strategies. Customer identity management also allows you to manage all of your customer interactions across multiple channels to provide a consistent experience for each person who interacts with your company. For example, if someone contacts you through email and then calls into your call center later on in the day, their information will be available to both agents so that they can pick up where they left off when speaking with them. 

Strategies for Successful Customer Identity Management

An effective CIAM strategy should inspire an organization and challenge it for transformations that go beyond the limitations of the business. So, for the success of your identity management strategy, address the following areas. 

1. Recognize Customer Pain Points

Understanding where you are is the first step in developing a customer identity management strategy. Conducting a formal analysis of the customer journey, user lifecycle, and provisioning processes with data governance is essential. These will provide a look into the pain points and struggles of your customers.

2. Identify new opportunities

Simply reviewing journeys and processes during the assessment won’t be enough, as you also need to talk to the internal and external stakeholders to identify new opportunities for leveraging IAM. A company’s technology and business aspect is a consolidation of every metric that provides an evidence-based narrative on the contribution.

3. Gain Insights

The above points help you understand where you are and your goal. Considering a portfolio-wide strategic approach to advanced technology is necessary to maximize benefits from the identity management strategy. Organizing interviews across the company will make the business a part of the process, drive awareness, and ensure a strategy that resonates with people.

4. Create the Roadmap

Creating the correct roadmap for the end goal from where you are today is the next step. Look at the supermarket analogy of packaged items in the categorized order, each having the cost of production and a price. These are measurable outcomes that were developed by partnering with the business. A good vision and a plan will guide investment in digital transformation. It also helps align the company’s spending on customer identity management to improve the outcomes for businesses and stakeholders.

Simplifying the Customer Identity Management Process

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A company needs to have a disciplined implementation methodology to be successful. Leaders need to focus on the developed, streamlined identity management foundation and look beyond just coping with identifying data mess using overly-customized bloatware.

The evolution of technology has led to needing other secondary skills rather than just technical skills. Organizations are looking for people who can look beyond the technology aspect and focus more on the business value and its impact on the customers. With technologies like biometrics and voice recognition used as security measures, you can see the influence of the human aspect in identity management. 

Conclusion

The requirement for making authentication easier with data collection and risk assessment continues to grow with evolution. Considering how this evolution is taking place and how organizations can support it is more than just using the technological aspect of identity management.

The end goal is to provide top-notch identity security solutions that ultimately lead to quality value for your customers on your platform. 


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TECHNOLOGY

Next-gen chips, Amazon Q, and speedy S3

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AWS re:Invent, which has been taking place from November 27 and runs to December 1, has had its usual plethora of announcements: a total of 21 at time of print.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the huge potential impact of generative AI – ChatGPT officially turns one year old today – a lot of focus has been on the AI side for AWS’ announcements, including a major partnership inked with NVIDIA across infrastructure, software, and services.

Yet there has been plenty more announced at the Las Vegas jamboree besides. Here, CloudTech rounds up the best of the rest:

Next-generation chips

This was the other major AI-focused announcement at re:Invent: the launch of two new chips, AWS Graviton4 and AWS Trainium2, for training and running AI and machine learning (ML) models, among other customer workloads. Graviton4 shapes up against its predecessor with 30% better compute performance, 50% more cores and 75% more memory bandwidth, while Trainium2 delivers up to four times faster training than before and will be able to be deployed in EC2 UltraClusters of up to 100,000 chips.

The EC2 UltraClusters are designed to ‘deliver the highest performance, most energy efficient AI model training infrastructure in the cloud’, as AWS puts it. With it, customers will be able to train large language models in ‘a fraction of the time’, as well as double energy efficiency.

As ever, AWS offers customers who are already utilising these tools. Databricks, Epic and SAP are among the companies cited as using the new AWS-designed chips.

Zero-ETL integrations

AWS announced new Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon Relational Database Services (Amazon RDS) for MySQL integrations with Amazon Redshift, AWS’ cloud data warehouse. The zero-ETL integrations – eliminating the need to build ETL (extract, transform, load) data pipelines – make it easier to connect and analyse transactional data across various relational and non-relational databases in Amazon Redshift.

A simple example of how zero-ETL functions can be seen is in a hypothetical company which stores transactional data – time of transaction, items bought, where the transaction occurred – in a relational database, but use another analytics tool to analyse data in a non-relational database. To connect it all up, companies would previously have to construct ETL data pipelines which are a time and money sink.

The latest integrations “build on AWS’s zero-ETL foundation… so customers can quickly and easily connect all of their data, no matter where it lives,” the company said.

Amazon S3 Express One Zone

AWS announced the general availability of Amazon S3 Express One Zone, a new storage class purpose-built for customers’ most frequently-accessed data. Data access speed is up to 10 times faster and request costs up to 50% lower than standard S3. Companies can also opt to collocate their Amazon S3 Express One Zone data in the same availability zone as their compute resources.  

Companies and partners who are using Amazon S3 Express One Zone include ChaosSearch, Cloudera, and Pinterest.

Amazon Q

A new product, and an interesting pivot, again with generative AI at its core. Amazon Q was announced as a ‘new type of generative AI-powered assistant’ which can be tailored to a customer’s business. “Customers can get fast, relevant answers to pressing questions, generate content, and take actions – all informed by a customer’s information repositories, code, and enterprise systems,” AWS added. The service also can assist companies building on AWS, as well as companies using AWS applications for business intelligence, contact centres, and supply chain management.

Customers cited as early adopters include Accenture, BMW and Wunderkind.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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TECHNOLOGY

HCLTech and Cisco create collaborative hybrid workplaces

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Digital comms specialist Cisco and global tech firm HCLTech have teamed up to launch Meeting-Rooms-as-a-Service (MRaaS).

Available on a subscription model, this solution modernises legacy meeting rooms and enables users to join meetings from any meeting solution provider using Webex devices.

The MRaaS solution helps enterprises simplify the design, implementation and maintenance of integrated meeting rooms, enabling seamless collaboration for their globally distributed hybrid workforces.

Rakshit Ghura, senior VP and Global head of digital workplace services, HCLTech, said: “MRaaS combines our consulting and managed services expertise with Cisco’s proficiency in Webex devices to change the way employees conceptualise, organise and interact in a collaborative environment for a modern hybrid work model.

“The common vision of our partnership is to elevate the collaboration experience at work and drive productivity through modern meeting rooms.”

Alexandra Zagury, VP of partner managed and as-a-Service Sales at Cisco, said: “Our partnership with HCLTech helps our clients transform their offices through cost-effective managed services that support the ongoing evolution of workspaces.

“As we reimagine the modern office, we are making it easier to support collaboration and productivity among workers, whether they are in the office or elsewhere.”

Cisco’s Webex collaboration devices harness the power of artificial intelligence to offer intuitive, seamless collaboration experiences, enabling meeting rooms with smart features such as meeting zones, intelligent people framing, optimised attendee audio and background noise removal, among others.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: Cisco, collaboration, HCLTech, Hybrid, meetings

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Canonical releases low-touch private cloud MicroCloud

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Canonical has announced the general availability of MicroCloud, a low-touch, open source cloud solution. MicroCloud is part of Canonical’s growing cloud infrastructure portfolio.

It is purpose-built for scalable clusters and edge deployments for all types of enterprises. It is designed with simplicity, security and automation in mind, minimising the time and effort to both deploy and maintain it. Conveniently, enterprise support for MicroCloud is offered as part of Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro subscription, with several support tiers available, and priced per node.

MicroClouds are optimised for repeatable and reliable remote deployments. A single command initiates the orchestration and clustering of various components with minimal involvement by the user, resulting in a fully functional cloud within minutes. This simplified deployment process significantly reduces the barrier to entry, putting a production-grade cloud at everyone’s fingertips.

Juan Manuel Ventura, head of architectures & technologies at Spindox, said: “Cloud computing is not only about technology, it’s the beating heart of any modern industrial transformation, driving agility and innovation. Our mission is to provide our customers with the most effective ways to innovate and bring value; having a complexity-free cloud infrastructure is one important piece of that puzzle. With MicroCloud, the focus shifts away from struggling with cloud operations to solving real business challenges” says

In addition to seamless deployment, MicroCloud prioritises security and ease of maintenance. All MicroCloud components are built with strict confinement for increased security, with over-the-air transactional updates that preserve data and roll back on errors automatically. Upgrades to newer versions are handled automatically and without downtime, with the mechanisms to hold or schedule them as needed.

With this approach, MicroCloud caters to both on-premise clouds but also edge deployments at remote locations, allowing organisations to use the same infrastructure primitives and services wherever they are needed. It is suitable for business-in-branch office locations or industrial use inside a factory, as well as distributed locations where the focus is on replicability and unattended operations.

Cedric Gegout, VP of product at Canonical, said: “As data becomes more distributed, the infrastructure has to follow. Cloud computing is now distributed, spanning across data centres, far and near edge computing appliances. MicroCloud is our answer to that.

“By packaging known infrastructure primitives in a portable and unattended way, we are delivering a simpler, more prescriptive cloud experience that makes zero-ops a reality for many Industries.“

MicroCloud’s lightweight architecture makes it usable on both commodity and high-end hardware, with several ways to further reduce its footprint depending on your workload needs. In addition to the standard Ubuntu Server or Desktop, MicroClouds can be run on Ubuntu Core – a lightweight OS optimised for the edge. With Ubuntu Core, MicroClouds are a perfect solution for far-edge locations with limited computing capabilities. Users can choose to run their workloads using Kubernetes or via system containers. System containers based on LXD behave similarly to traditional VMs but consume fewer resources while providing bare-metal performance.

Coupled with Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro + Support subscription, MicroCloud users can benefit from an enterprise-grade open source cloud solution that is fully supported and with better economics. An Ubuntu Pro subscription offers security maintenance for the broadest collection of open-source software available from a single vendor today. It covers over 30k packages with a consistent security maintenance commitment, and additional features such as kernel livepatch, systems management at scale, certified compliance and hardening profiles enabling easy adoption for enterprises. With per-node pricing and no hidden fees, customers can rest assured that their environment is secure and supported without the expensive price tag typically associated with cloud solutions.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: automation, Canonical, MicroCloud, private cloud

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