Before we dive into what this $18.3B market-growth projection means for medium to large businesses that are managing hundreds or even thousands of customer identities, a brief overview of Customer Identity Management solutions (CIM) would be a great way to get started.

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The platform itself is classified as a Software as a Service and takes on several names in the market since it’s often confused with Employee Identity Management systems.

To be clear, Customer Identity and Access Management solutions exist to serve businesses that store identity-related data of their customers.

This article also serves to clear up any and all confusion that might arise regarding the terms associated with CIM in this booming market.

What exactly is CIM?

Customer Identity Management (also known as Identity Management, Access Management, CIM, and CIaM) is a solution that provides authentication services, manages identities, and stores customer profile data for businesses worldwide.

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CIM solutions provide Customer Registration Services, which include Social Login, Email Registration, and Single Sign-On (SSO) capabilities.

The fully managed solution also includes Profile Data capturing services, Customer Profile Storage, and Customer Insights—so that businesses can understand and market better to their target audiences. If you want to see a detailed breakdown of the products offered under CIM, check out this overview.

Ultimately, with Customer Identity Management, companies are better equipped to build trust with their customers, protect sensitive data, and deliver UX-friendly, uninterrupted authentication services—so that they can pursue their revenue goals with less barriers.

What does it all mean?

Now that the CIM solution overview is done, I’ll repeat the stat from earlier, considering the title may seem unbelievable to you. Customer Identity and Access Management is projected to be a $18.3B industry by 2019—and I’m not just throwing bogus numbers at you.

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In a 2015 MarketsandMarkets Identity and Access Management Report, analysts predict that when it comes to Customer Identity solutions, the market value will hover around $18.3B by 2019, growing exponentially each year. The report includes numbers drawn from password resets, SSO, advanced authentication, and compliance and auditing analyses, respectively.

Further to that, according to a CrunchBase Poll, Customer Identity and Access Management was identified as the industry with the highest expectation of growth in 2015—this at a margin of 4-1 to comparable industries in the survey.

So, why SHOULD this matter to you?

Because it’s a game-changer for all businesses that manage customer identities, especially as they continue to grow and scale. Handling these identities, protecting sensitive customer data, and providing continuous access to authentication, can become extremely costly without a CIM SaaS vendor to manage these intricate processes.

Problems for Medium to Large Businesses

Now, I know you might be thinking, “I have experienced Development and Engineering teams, I don’t need a vendor for these services,” and you could be right. But the reality is, even the most sophisticated in-house identity systems spend more money on maintenance, downtime, and resources each year, than they would if they used a CIM vendor.

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Further to that, with all the hacks and security vulnerabilities taking place each year, the question is, do you really want to put your customer data at risk? Reputable Customer Identity Management vendors will offer highly secure Service Level Agreements (SLAs)—guaranteeing the highest level of protection of your Customer Profile Data.

How CIM “handles” it

Before breaking out into panic mode after mentally crunching the numbers on what your company is spending on identity management in-house, consider this Impact Report that outlines how just one small piece of Identity Management—Password Reset Requests—can reduce your costs significantly when handled by a CIM vendor.

This use-case example shows how much just Password Reset Requests could cost your business, comparing an in-house infrastructure and one offered by a CIM SaaS vendor.

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Keep in mind that these numbers are drawn from the most conservative estimates, so they could be even higher.

Another important element to consider when analyzing whether your company will need a CIM solution is that in a recent Forrester Business Technographics® survey, “49% of global business and technology decision-makers say improving the use of data and analytics technology is a high priority for their firm,” and this directly relates to Customer Identity Management, especially in terms of data storage and analytics.

Utilizing a sound CIM solution can provide businesses with secure data access and storage, but also provides them with an unfragmented view of their individual customers.

This view can change the way your business operates. No more guessing, no more wondering what your target audience wants and needs, you just need to load up your Customer Insights dashboard and segment your users in order to have a complete analysis.

Conclusion

The impact of CIM can vary for companies based on their size, customer-base, or industry—but the industry research and use-case analysis does show potential for significant cost savings regardless. The best course of action would be to analyze your company’s priorities to determine where Identity Management fits as part of a larger Digital Strategy.

Utilizing the services of Customer Identity Management (CIM) improves operational efficiency and can significantly reduce the costs associated with the Support Desk, implementation, authentication processes, and application development and maintenance. The question is, where does your business stand within this massive and growing market?