Identity management professionals have seen significant changes in the industry in recent years, and the pace of change is only accelerating. In the past, workforce Identity and Access Management (IAM) evolved to keep up with a growing need for access to workforce systems. Now Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) is critically important as businesses undergo digital transformation and engage with customers across multiple apps and channels.
Even before the dust has settled with CIAM, the Internet of Things (IoT) is entering the scene with a need to manage and connect human and device identities. But it doesn’t stop here. Just on the horizon is Artificial Intelligence (AI), which could be the next big area where IAM plays a significant role.
We can already see components of AI beginning to enter our lives with AI agents such as Siri and Alexa building on knowledge gathered from our commands to expand their capabilities. While we are used to dealing with apps, the not-to-distant future could see an influx of AI agents replacing apps as the way in which we interact with businesses to accomplish a wide range of tasks, from stock trades to booking travel.
It’s not too far-fetched to imagine horizontal AI agents that serve as the main interface for our activities. Through APIs, these horizontal agents could be connected to multiple vertical agents that handle a specific task. For example, a travel AI agent would be responsible for arranging flights and accommodations while a financial services AI agent could handle investment activity.
An interesting question rises out of this futuristic ecosystem. How will authentication be handled? In all likelihood, authentication will no longer require passwords. As new authentication methods such as facial recognition and biometrics evolve to become more accurate, identity management platforms will need the capabilities to handle multiple forms of authentication. As IAM professionals look for future-proof identity management solutions, this flexibility is a key requirement.
Similarly, adaptive authentication will be another important component of an identity management solution capable of supporting AI use cases. If you’re trading stocks, the need for fail-proof authentication is more urgent than when you are accessing your music library. Identity management platforms need to adjust according to the risk associated with each task for the sake of convenience without sacrificing security.
Many of these same dynamics and requirements are already playing out in the Customer Identity and Access Management space. They will be emphasized even further as we move toward increased IoT device use and eventually into AI adoption.
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