A study by Okta revealed a high level of understanding of CIAM (customer identity and access management) across six markets in the Asia-Pacific region, with nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents saying they have a good or expert understanding of CIAM, and only a small minority (7%) admitting to not knowing anything about it at all.
CIAM allows businesses to embed a secure identity layer into their consumer and SaaS applications, facilitating secure, seamless end user experiences across digital channels.
This awareness has also translated to widespread adoption of CIAM solutions, with a large majority (82%) having already implemented CIAM solutions, whether built in-house or outsourced.
Even among those that do not currently have a CIAM solution, nearly half (48%) are planning to deploy one in the next 12 to 18 months.
The study was conducted in early 2022 and surveyed 320 C-level and senior IT decision makers in Australia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the Philippines and Hong Kong.
Security emerged as the top driver for CIAM adoption, with nearly nine in 10 respondents (89%) saying CIAM was very important or important to their overall security strategy, and just 3% saying it had no importance at all.
Similarly, developers cited security as the top attribute (33%) when selecting a CIAM solution, followed by reliability (22%), ease of use (16%) and a good user experience (15%).
“An integrated, secure and seamless CIAM solution is now a critical component to organisations’ wish to provide the best digital user experience to their end users,” said Richard Marr, APAC CIAM Lead at Okta.
Marr said that while the study revealed a high level of awareness and adoption of CIAM solutions in the region, challenges remain for organisations that may lack in-house expertise or the necessary resources to keep up with an evolving cyber threat and regulatory environment.
Further, the survey revealed significant concerns about CIAM implementation and potential business risk if done poorly.
Most respondents said the biggest barrier to CIAM implementation was the risk of adversely impacting the user experience (61%), with many struggling to get this right internally, followed by a lack of available in-house expertise (42%), and the need to create a business case to justify implementation (30%).
The challenges and complexities of CIAM continue beyond implementation, with businesses that choose to build these solutions in-house needing to upkeep their deployments to withstand evolving cyberattacks.
Of those organisations that have a CIAM solution, 60% say their biggest barrier in managing it is the need to improve their security posture, while 57% are challenged by the high level of complexity.
The fast-changing threat landscape and ever-evolving audit and compliance requirements make speed and agility essential in managing customer identity. This creates another challenge for business, with over 40% citing this as a key barrier in using their existing CIAM solution.
The urgency for businesses to deliver customer experiences that balance security and UX is driving the adoption of CIAM across Asia-Pacific.
Those who don’t have a solution are hampered by knowing where to start, with concerns about user experience and security proving to be a barrier to implementation.
Those who do are often relying on homegrown solutions that are complex to maintain, less secure, and divert developer and engineer time away from business-critical activities.