APIDigital business initiatives are becoming the driving factor behind many customer experience strategies. As more customers move to mobile and online interactions, businesses are shifting their delivery of products and services to digital methods. It has, and will continue to have, strong ripple effects throughout organizations, but most noticeably for the IT teams tasked with building the customer-facing apps, portals and programs that make digital engagement possible.

Not only are IT professionals handling increased demand for more apps, but they are also creating apps that must serve a wider variety and complexity of functions across a range of different channels, particularly apps that rely on customer identity data. Identity Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), or reusable services embedded with identity data standards and protocols, help IT teams quickly roll out new apps.

They can shorten time to market by eliminating the time-intensive need to repeatedly recreate code, and Identity APIs improve customer experience by leveraging existing customer data, including customer-directed privacy and preference settings. Plus, Identity APIs help mitigate the risk of data breach by supporting security best practices.

Identity APIs represent unique customer identity data assets that can significantly simplify the consumption of identity services. Identity APIs can include individual customer attributes, communication choices, privacy preferences, and relationships to other identities and devices. Identity as a reusable service makes it easier to provide all apps with ready access to one source of customer data while uniformly enforcing your security framework. It enables functionalities such as password recovery, customer profile management, and preference and privacy enforcement in every app at every customer engagement point.

If you’re ready to move forward with constructing Identity APIs, here are some key considerations and guidelines to help you get started.

  1. Getting to the Data
    Discover where your data is located, especially if it is stored in disparate data stores. It’s important to assemble a complete representation of who your customers are.
  2. Querying Your API for Data
    Develop a framework to structure your queries and your data by following existing standards such as SCIM.
  3. Data Governance Through APIs
    Ensure your data governance policies are applied across multiple applications by automating enforcement through your API.
  4. Securing Access to Your API
    Carefully define what data each app should access and always secure your communications with SSL/TLS.
  5. Logging and Audits
    Configure the minimum amount of logging information that operations and audit teams will need to monitor data usage and build reports.

Building Identity APIs will be time and effort well spent. You gain the advantages of efficiency and quality identity services that ensure data security throughout the organization. Your software development teams will certainly thank you.

Identity APIs enable software development teams to deploy new customer-facing apps quickly while enhancing customer experience and security. Learn how to construct Identity APIs in the webinar replay: Building Identity APIs that Improve Business Agility and Security. You’ll also find an Identity API checklist to help you build your API step-by-step.