Why should you use CIAM in 2023?

Digital Transformation impacts all companies, and Digital Innovation radically changes. Everything in enterprises by pushing the shift to the as-a-service paradigm, where it is possible to deliver and access anything and everything in the IT world as a cloud-based service.

The importance of CIAM

This means that, with less and less options available on the horizon, the market is going to radically change. By implementing a service-oriented approach to new technologies and implementations, companies need to begin planning for the transition to ensure that they are not blindsided by it.

Sensitive workloads are gradually migrating to the cloud, so it makes sense to shift the administration of such workloads to the cloud (including identity management) to prevent the difficulty of hybrid IT systems from incorporating, maintaining and licensing where some workloads are running on site while others are running in the cloud in parallel.


Identity Management will inevitably move to the cloud

In view of the trend of increasingly concentrating on controlling access at runtime rather than setting identity governance and administration (IGA) parameters when implementing systems, cloud-based identity management now makes more sense, although this approach remains important, especially when it comes to identity management of employees (B2E). That said, by beginning with a B2E project, organizations might start their path to service-based identity management, including the migration of prem IGA tools to microservices architectures, which would enable these microservices to operate in different deployment models.

There is, however, a general tendency in identity management towards the integration of B2E, B2B, B2P and B2C use cases, which highly favors the service-based solution at all stages. At the level of the infrastructure (microservices), at the level of the framework (granular services that can be both exposed and used through APIs) and at the wider level of cloud-based services.

Identity is becoming one of the new, essential security perimeters

As digital transformation affects the way corporate collaboration takes place, how individuals work together and how resources and products are produced and distributed, any company thinking about the future of branding should consider transitioning to a service-based architecture.

Identity Management plays a key role in allowing digital content creators and users to be able to access them from anywhere, via any smartphone. The typical perimeter of the network is vanishing, with agile companies linking directly to partners, clients and consumers using cloud providers and smartphone users. As conventional perimeter-based security becomes less meaningful in the light of digital transition and the resulting digital workspaces that can be reached from just about anywhere using a variety of devices, the idea of identity as one of the new, critical security perimeters is becoming a reality, and This suggests that it is therefore important to turn identity management into a series of services or even microservices that make it possible to make services accessible to all users anywhere in a secure, flexible and controlled manner.

Plan for identity services backed by a converged identity backend infrastructure

Organizations should aim to include well-defined cloud-based identity systems at all levels in terms of strategic planning, reliable back-end services, an identity API framework, and well-structured service levels that facilitate integration, orchestration, and reuse of existing components

This will be allowed by a converged digital identity backend (identity fabric) architecture that not only enables you to access any service from anywhere, but also allows the introduction of functionality such as adaptive authentication support, auditing capability, robust service federation, and dynamic authorization capabilities. Conceptually this would require a backend layer integrated into using an Identity API platform, a consistent API layer for accessing Identity services, and an application layer for consuming Identity services.

Some identity providers are now promoting pre-configured cloud platforms for access control, single sign-on, user provisioning, mobile identity, enforcement, and both multi-factor and adaptive authentication, in line with expectations that cloud infrastructure will continue to build traction and in expectation of the industry change to anything as a service.

There are several advantages to cloud-based identity services

There is a strong advantage of cloud-based identity providers that can block unwanted access to data and networks by allowing the persistence, exposure and dissemination of identity attributes to software and other services, as well as user management and policy enforcement systems.

Indications are that the concept of identity as a resource serving applications, processes and facilities both within and across organizations will be brought to fruition by cloud-based identity systems, but this will entail a service-oriented design and identity abstraction that should be taken into account by organizations contemplating the future of Identity Management.

In brief, a transition in the way Identity Management is applied to a centralized model capable of serving both outbound and inbound applications or microservices distributed in a number of ways would be needed for the change to a service-based model.

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