Ok, so I’ve been in the software game for more years than I care to admit. I’ve done EDI, mainframe emulators and even spent a few years at CompuServe before it was acquired by AOL (like if you remember CompuServe). Regardless of the business I was in, when I have marketed the software, it was always under the umbrella of “save time, save money, eliminate risk.” I have used phrases like “reduce the time to do X,” or “stop doing Y so your IT team can do more important things.” It has been rare (read: never) that I have used a phrase like, “buy our software and increase revenue.” Note: lots of software companies claim this, but really, very few actually do it.
So, I have been toying with how software, and Identity and Access Management software in particular, can go beyond affecting the expense side of the of pro forma and actually impact the revenue side. Is it possible? I think it is but I would really like your opinion on how to do this. Here are my thoughts.
At the end of the day, Identity and Access Management initiatives collect lots of information. Currently it is used to adhere to some random regulation or policy, or ensure that you don’t become the next security headline. But what if… What if you take that Identity and Access Management data and do more with it.
Opening up apps to partners or customers. Listen, we’re all busy. If your partners or customers have to engage with your employees to get something done (like place an order or track a ticket), that’s wasteful. Moreover, it’s only a matter of time before your competitors enable direct access to those apps for their customers and partners. An advanced Identity and Access Management strategy can help you leapfrog the competition and retain customers, drive more transactions and keep your customers, well, yours.
With respect to customers, a really advanced Identity and Access Management program will integrate with social identities. Your customers will be known to you by, say, their Facebook profile and this presents at least two opportunities. First, when they deride you on FB, you will know and can reach out to them in short order to solve their problem or offer a discount. Imagine turning a negative Facebook post into a customer win in hours on Facebook. Not only did you win back a customer, you won all their friends as customers as well. Secondly, by understanding both your customer’s interaction with you and their interaction with the outside world (via FB), you will have a better understanding of that customer providing you an opportunity to better service that customer (read: sell them more stuff).
Accelerating app access within the enterprise. In today’s economy, we’re all in sales. We all need to know where the deal with customer Z stands towards the end of the quarter. But not everyone has access to the application that tracks that deal. So we send emails asking reps, who should be selling, what we can do to help. Identity and Access Management can give the technical and marketing folks access to the records of deals in the pipeline so they can anticipate what sales needs to close that deal right before the end of the quarter.
Fundamentally, at One Identity, we call this IAM agility and it’s the fifth level of what One Identity believes to be the Identity and Access Management hierarchy. If you would like to learn more about our perspectives on Identity and Access Management, visit us on the interlinks.
Heck, maybe someday I will chair a session at an industry event called, “Identity and Access Management for revenue generation’s sake.” I bet you all would love to take that to your managers and board when you seek approval for your next identity project!