KuppingerCole Report
By Anne Bailey

Accelerate your Digital Transformation through Identity

Digital transformation is a unique journey for each organization, but there are common foundations that underpin successful ones. Digital identity, especially the unification of enterprise identity and access management (IAM) and consumer identity and access management (CIAM) is an enabler of further efficiencies and innovations within your organization. In this Whitepaper, KuppingerCole in collaboration with Deloitte discuss the phases of digital transformation and how a unified approach to IAM and CIAM fuels this journey.
By Anne Bailey

Commissioned by Deloitte

1 Introduction

Digital transformation is a clear business imperative. However, how to bring about a digital transformation in your own organization is often less clear. Critical building blocks of a digital organization must be intentionally assembled, and digital identity is one of these foundational enablers as it serves to connect anyone to any service, provide heightened security, and yield improved user experience.

Digital transformation is a response to fundamental changes to "business as usual" or BAU. The years 2020 - 2021 saw extraordinary external factors that supremely disrupted BAU like a mass work-from-home movement. But the global pandemic is not the sole initiator of digital transformation. Fundamental changes to BAU that upend your competitive landscape have been increasingly closing in on the business over the past decade and demand a response in order to compete in a changing world. But aside from outpacing the competition, organizations want to delight their customers by building 1:1 relationships with them and creating omni-channel digital programs. This undercurrent is what spurs you to look for what enables you to embark on your digital transformation to achieve your digital business.

If digital transformation is a response to the changing business environment, what actions should you take to begin that transformation? Digital transformation is not about implementing the latest technology advancements, but requires context to know why and how you should evolve your business. Digital identity has become the fabric of the digital economy. Together Deloitte and KupppingerCole recommend using identity as a frame for your digital transformation because identity is the center piece of the digital experience.

Digital identity is the unifying factor in modern enterprises because it facilitates communication and collaboration between the previously disparate and siloed organizational departments, as well as to customers and external partners: it connects customers to the services they access, business processes with suppliers and partners, employees to each other and the projects they manage, and enterprise resources with the individuals that may access them. To enable this, we recommend using an identity-centric approach called an Identity Fabric – a paradigm of comprehensive identity services that deliver capabilities required for providing seamless and controlled access for everyone to every service. Digital identity is a key component in any digital transformation initiative and serves as a key security measure for the de-siloed organization. An Identity Fabric offers an actionable architecture that enables anyone to connect to any service or process. Digital identity must sit at the center of your digital transformation efforts because it not only protects your people, processes, and assets, but it enables businesses to foster innovation and improve user experience.

2 Highlights

  • Respond to fundamental changes to “business as usual” in order to compete and thrive by harnessing digital identity for your digital transformation
  • ...
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3 What is the digital transformation journey?

By and large, the digital transformation journey will depend on your organization’s current status – the purpose of your business, the organizatio ...

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3.1 What does a digital organization look like?

Organizations that are thriving because of their digital transformation typically have well-honed capabilities and strategy in three domains: their co ...

Digital organizations have a fully digital customer experience, where the customer relationship, access to the organization, and management within the ...

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3.2 How digital is your organization?

Organizations can be loosely categorized by their state of mind regarding their digital transformation. These are: exploring digital, doing digital, b ...

Exploring digital is the earliest phase of the digital transformation journey. Here the organization is adding digital capabilities to automate exist ...

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4 How does digital identity both secure and enable your digital transformation?

In the past, enterprise and customer IAM have been separate worlds that coexisted. Enterprise IAM has primarily been a security measure that in princi ...

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4.1 What role does digitalization play in unifying IAM and CIAM?

Does becoming more digital unify IAM and CIAM? Or does striving to unify IAM and CIAM make your organization more digital? The answer is yes, no matte ...

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4.2 What are the advantages of implementing unified digital identities in your organization?

Unified digital identity improves security and control over information, processes, and tooling by reducing the threat surface and improving the organ ...

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5 Where do you start? And other FAQ

Sometimes half the battle is knowing where to begin. We recommend having a clear picture of the outcomes that you want enabled through your organizati ...

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5.1 What are pre-requisites for a strong digital transformation?

Change management is a profession that you cannot do on the side. In reality, it is often overlooked in favor of technical expertise. Proactive change ...

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5.2 What digital identity capabilities are highly desirable?

Authentication is an interesting place to start, especially when considering unified digital identity. For both sides – employees and consumers – ...

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5.3 Is there an order to deploying digital identity?

Since each journey is so unique, there is no order. This must be a decision based on your organization’s current status and goals. However, if there ...

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5.4 Are non-human identities part of a holistic approach to digital identity?

Yes, non-customer roles, device identities, and machines identities are part of the concept that all personas are required to have an identity to acce ...

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5.5 What is the expected effort that must be invested before being digital?

In our experience, we see identity transformations taking 1.5-2 years. The typical blocks to work on are vision, strategy, governance, design of techn ...

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5.6 Where should IAM sit in the organization?

This is a hot debate. There is no correct placement, but there are incorrect placements. Most important is that IAM should sit where it has strong tie ...

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5.7 Is artificial intelligence (AI) part of digital transformation?

Yes, in the sense that AI is often part of the tooling that enables digital transformation. But remember that a digital transformation is a response t ...

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5.8 Conclusion

A unified approach to IAM and CIAM is a critical foundation of becoming a digital business. Digital identity programs can improve your organization’ ...

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KuppingerCole, founded in 2004, is a global, independent analyst organization headquartered in Europe. We specialize in providing vendor-neutral advice, expertise, thought leadership, and practical relevance in Cybersecurity, Digital Identity & IAM (Identity and Access Management), Cloud Risk and Security, and Artificial Intelligence, as well as for all technologies fostering Digital Transformation. We support companies, corporate users, integrators and software manufacturers in meeting both tactical and strategic challenges and make better decisions for the success of their business. Maintaining a balance between immediate implementation and long-term viability is at the heart of our philosophy.

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