13 Oct, 2021 | 3 min read

WSO2 Asgardeo - Democratizing Customer Identity and Access to Accelerate Digital Transformation

  • Shekar Hariharan
  • Senior Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer - WSO2

Nearly every enterprise of any size is now in the middle of a dramatic digital transformation. Companies that were once relying on brick and mortar transactions are now seeking to accelerate their digital presence. According to a recent report published by McKinsey & Company, the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation efforts that were already in progress to the point where the majority of global customer interactions are now digital versus physical.

Digital transformation efforts are critical to ensuring that the workforce is productive and that employees have access to the applications and resources they require. Identity and Access Management (IAM) is one of the critical investments that enterprises are making to help them with their transformation initiatives. While a happy and productive workforce is critical, customers of the enterprise represent a lucrative audience that directly affects top-line revenue results, and therefore Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) has been thrust into the limelight as a top priority for digital transformation efforts. Businesses will spend $15 billion on CIAM by 2025, according to Market & Markets.

What Experiences Are Customers Looking For?

Who can blame consumers for being increasingly demanding in terms of who they do business with digitally? We all conduct transactions digitally on a weekly basis, if not on a daily basis. Whether we are ordering pickup from our favorite restaurant, ordering groceries online, paying bills, or signing up for new services, we want the process to be seamless and secure. Social logins are often preferred to creating separate sets of credentials for each business we interact with. If we are returning to a company we regularly do business with, we’d rather not jump through hoops to prove it is really us. And with recent data breaches all over the news, we want our information to be kept safe and private. In short, consumers want it all - convenience and security, and they will transact with businesses that give them both. CIAM can help organizations address all of these requirements. But CIAM up until now has mainly been available only to large enterprises with big budgets and specialized skills.

The Problem With Today’s CIAM Solutions

A well-executed CIAM initiative needs to provide a consistent login experience for each service, department, or website a customer interacts with. Federated Single Sign-On enables this experience. Social logins must be supported. Strong security must be deployed for certain transactions through multi-factor authentication. Adaptive authentication makes sure that risky transactions are either met with strong authentication or possibly blocked altogether. User self-registration allows for easy onboarding of customers and password management.

The problem is that CIAM solutions until now have required expertise on the part of the application developers to embed these capabilities into the customer services they are deploying. Large organizations solve this problem by assigning software development tasks to those with CIAM specialized skills. But the cybersecurity skills shortage is well documented, a problem facing even large organizations. Developers in small to medium enterprises and startups are more likely generalists in their skill sets, so implementing CIAM can be a challenge. 

CIAM capabilities must also be highly scalable. A website or service needs to be ready to handle login, authentication, and other capabilities across potentially thousands of transactions per second. High availability means enterprises must spend a significant amount of money on network, server, and storage infrastructure to handle the volume.

An ideal CIAM solution would enable developers with little to no CIAM experience to easily incorporate capabilities into their applications, all provided as a service to eliminate the need to invest in costly infrastructure.

Introducing Asgardeo

Asgardeo by WSO2 is a new IDaaS that takes the complexity out of managing user access and enables building a secure and frictionless customer experience in just minutes. 

Asgardeo enables all of the key CIAM requirements organizations need to meet and is built for developers with little to no CIAM knowledge. Asgardeo delivers built-in IAM best practices, easy-to-follow documentation, and common workflows including SDK’s to take the pressure off developers to have in-depth knowledge of IAM standards and protocols. Integration with social and enterprise identity providers enhances the customer onboarding and login experience. Strong authentication options include TOTP, passwordless with FIDO2, biometrics, and more to build a better secure login experience for customers. User self-registration allows for easy onboarding of customers and password management. 

As an IDaaS, Asgardeo delivers all of this capability as a service, so organizations don’t have to worry about investing in and maintaining the infrastructure needed to support high transaction volumes.

Democratizing CIAM for All Organizations

Advanced CIAM capabilities are no longer limited to large enterprises with specialized developer skills and large budgets. Small to medium businesses and start-up organizations can now leverage Asgardeo to deliver scalable, seamless and secure authentication capabilities to their applications.

Getting started with Asgardeo is easy. Developers can sign up for the free edition immediately and start adding authentication to applications in minutes.

    WSO2 has released an early adopter version of Asgardeo, an IDaaS that sets new industry standards for enabling developers without security expertise to easily embed CIAM features into their apps within minutes. Try out Asgardeo's free trial or discover more about its features here or why not join the IAM4DEVS community to get the latest tips and tricks on all things Identity!

    Alternatively, if you’re looking for an enterprise grade, API driven, open source solution that can manage millions of user identities without spiraling costs please view WSO2 Identity Server