How can CIAM help your business?

Author: Thomas Bröker

Last updated: August 1, 2022

As competition shifts from price to customer experience in many sectors, CIAM platforms can provide a one-stop solution. But how does CIAM really help your business, and what value can it add?

What is CIAM?

CIAM is short for Customer Identity and Access Management. CIAM systems allow companies to offer external people secure online access to company data or systems. Acting as a flexible hub for all online applications, a CIAM system will future-proof your business by helping you bring customers online, manage their experience and engage with them. You can read all about CIAM in our blog post “What is CIAM?”

Why is CIAM so important?

Modern customers expect a smooth and secure experience across multiple online channels. As a result, competition in many market sectors has shifted away from price and towards user experience. But the back-end is becoming too complex for most businesses to manage: the number of innovative new applications keeps growing, regulations are constantly being tightened, and legacy systems get in the way of seamless integration. As a result, in-house access and identity management is no longer cost-effective. On top of that, a recent spate of hacking scandals has put security high on the boardroom agenda. The need for secure, integrated solutions is greater than ever before, and CIAM systems are just right for the job.

CIAM supports the full digital identity lifecycle

The moment your customer interacts with your business through an online channel or executes personal tasks via an online self-service process, they become a digital customer. As a digital customer, he or she will go through the so-called digital identity lifecycle.

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CIAM solutions must support the following core functionality:

Onboarding: how do you bring the person online?


-        Flexible onboarding

-        External identity registration

-        Creating the digital identity

-        Providing ID to external systems like CRM

Identity management: how sure are you that this person is really the person he says he is?

-        Identity self-service

-        Identity assurance level

-        Smart security

-        User management application

-        Coupling and decoupling external ID providers

Authentication/login: how sure are you that this is the same person as before?

-        Multi-factor authentication

-        Step-up authentication for additional security layers

-        SSO to enterprise services

Authorization: what is this person allowed to see/do?

-        Course-grained authorization

-        Extended delegated authorization with delegated user management

Access: how is the content accessed from a technical perspective?

-        Access to enterprise services based on identity

-        Access to APIs managed by Secure Reverse Proxy

-        Payload encryption (double encryption for public Wi-Fi networks)

Deregistration: what happens to the information in the digital identity when the customer wants to leave?

-        Forget me (GDPR)

-        Digital ID removal

You can read all about effective support for the digital identity lifecycle in our article “How to support an effective Digital Customer Lifecycle?

How does CIAM fit into your architecture model? 

A CIAM platform will act as a hub across all layers of your architecture. It must therefore be compatible with your existing systems. That way, you don’t have to change your existing setup and back-end processes to accommodate it. This will ensure a much smoother transition for everyone involved.

How Onegini Identity Cloud is different

There are various CIAM solutions available in the market today, but Onegini Identity Cloud is truly unique. Like other providers, it offers a very comprehensive CIAM platform, but that is not all. At Onegini, we also offer the insight to help you create a truly effective onboarding process. We combine data analytics, journey configuration, and onboarding learning to make sure your customers really get onboarded and use your online facilities, so you can achieve your business goals. Want to find out more? Get in touch today. We’d be happy to explore the opportunities for your business, no strings attached.