From mobile apps to the Internet of Things, digital business trends are reshaping customer identities in significant ways. Identities are no longer only usernames and passwords. They now encompass information collected from and about experiences, such as purchase histories, geo-location information, browsing patterns and a myriad of other data points. In addition to this experience data, customer identities also consist of security profiles.

As the definition of identities expands and grows more complex, IT teams are under increasing pressure to rapidly provide identity data to more apps and services. You no longer have months to plan your data model and go through test cycles. You have to iterate quickly, but you still need to protect the data from breaches or misuse.

For the last few years, NoSql databases have been the answer to this dilemma because they align nicely with agile business methodologies. You can immediately begin evolving your data profiles without spending time defining the data model. However, this convenience comes with a price. NoSql does not provide viable ways to structure, protect and govern your data. You gain flexibility at the cost of control.

IT teams need a solution that addresses both ends of the spectrum between structured data and unstructured data. Identity profiles should consist of two parts:

  1. A static component consisting of the core profile that remains structured, controlled, governed and secured
  2. A flexible component comprised of the transient and evolving unstructured experience data collected through applications, devices and channels

A Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) solution capable of managing both structured and unstructured data resolves the conflicting requirements of controlling customer identity data while capturing the dynamic way customers engage with companies over multiple channels. It provides IT teams with a platform that supports fast time to market and the ability to meet increasing business demands for identity data.