11 Question Not Being Asked Before a Failed CIAM Investment


The most dangerous questions are usually those that go unasked. This is true in connection to personal or business matters.

Questions allow you to learn something new. They can inspire you to look at a familiar situation from a different standpoint or to spark fresh ideas. Questions lead to conversations, and conversations lead to relationships.

If you have been tasked with finding the right CIAM solution for your organization, you will need to be asking the right questions before you buy. If you purchase a CIAM platform without asking the right questions, you may find that you have committed time, energy, and resources to technology that does not truly meet your organization’s current or future needs.

CIAM is sought after for its scalability, security, privacy, and unified profile. The CIAM platform you choose needs to meet specific technical capabilities. Only then will it provide you with the airtight security needed to keep you in compliance with regulatory risk and help you make your marketing goals a reality.

Asking questions about security, privacy, and scalability early in the research and evaluation process will help you sort through the many CIAM options available to find the one that is right for your organization. There are countless questions you will need to ask based on your budget, the work your organization does, and your plans for the future.

Here are 11 questions that you should ask before investing in CIAM to prevent wasting your money on a solution that might not be the right one for you.

Questions to Ask about CIAM Security

Data breaches and cybersecurity failures are not an option. All it takes is one data breach for your organization to lose its good reputation and become saddled with fines, legal fees, and lost revenue. On average, the cost of a data breach is $3.9 million. While some larger enterprises may bounce back after a data breach, for many small to medium-sized businesses, a data breach means closing their doors forever.

With security, ask yourself the following questions.
1. Can the CIAM solution I am considering protect my organization against insider attacks?
2. Does it offer authentication that is easy for customers to use?
3. What level of control will we have over securing customer data?

Customers care deeply about security. Ping Identity published a report in 2019 that showed that 81 percent of customers would stop using an online brand if it suffered a data breach. Twenty-five percent of those surveyed said they would go as far as cutting off all interaction with the brand. This underscores the importance of having a secure CIAM solution.

Choosing a CIAM solution that will attract new customers and help you keep current customers means finding a solution that protects your customers. A good CIAM solution strikes the balance between customer experience and security without sacrificing either.

Questions to Ask about Scalability

The last thing that you want is for your CIAM solution to fail at a critical time. You work hard to attract new customers. When you actually get them, it would be a shame if lack of scalability caused your CIAM solution to leave you dead in the water. Here are three questions you should ask about CIAM solution scalability.

4. How does it mitigate or prevent denial of service attacks?
5. How will it perform during peak usage or unexpected spikes in demand?
6. Do they already have customers that have reached the scale that we currently need or will need in the future?

Your CIAM solution should not only be scalable, but it should be able to scale rapidly. Your CIAM solution should give you the ability to meet unexpected demands without skipping a beat. There should be no worry that if your organization runs a promotion, has a sale, or has a special event that attracts customers, your CIAM solution will be an impediment.

Besides traffic spikes, scalability is key for maintaining systems maintenance. With a multi-tenant cloud model, system maintenance, vulnerability patches, and batched service deployments can be handled more efficiently. This is because you can push them across the CIAM system in real-time without interrupting service.

Questions about Privacy

Privacy is of utmost concern for modern customers. Most customers will share their data with your organization. However, they expect you to be transparent with how that data is used.

There are several privacy regulations your organization may need to comply with. These could include HIPAA, PCI, and GDPR. Privacy regulations vary from country to country, city to city, and even from one municipality to another. GDPR alone has 99 articles requiring compliance.

When discussing privacy and your CIAM solution, ask:
7. Does it allow us to comply with the data residency regulations?
8. Can data sharing be enforced on specific attributes?

High-profile customer privacy breaches have led to increased regional data protection regulations. Having a CIAM system that complies with these strict regulations is mission-critical. A good CIAM solution will offer customer preference centers along with consent stores designed to streamline compliance through all channels. At the same time, customers should receive a seamless experience.

Whether you are talking about the Gen. Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or if you feel concerned with California’s new data privacy law (CCPA), your organization must concern itself with collecting and storing customer data responsibly. If your CIAM solution cannot do this, it can permanently damage your reputation. You risk steep fines and penalties.

Questions about Unified Profile

Your customers do more than just access web apps. For this reason, CIAM needs to be inclusive. It needs to facilitate customer engagement with your brand via the Internet of things, mobile apps, partner applications, and more. The right CIAM solution should make it possible for you to provide consistent multi-channel experiences while maintaining the personalized interactions that your customers demand.

You need to be selective when choosing your CIAM solution. Not every CIAM solution can create a unified profile. Questions to ask include:

9. What process will we use to get user data into a united profile?
10. What will we do for applications that cannot be migrated?
11. How will the CIAM solution we select store unstructured or schema-less data?


Finding the right CIAM solution will give your organization a competitive advantage. Your CIAM solution must offer the same security as your IAM solution and provide an increased level of user-friendliness.

Your employees are forced to adapt to your IAM solution, but your customers can choose whether or not they will do business with you. If your CIAM solution does not meet their expectations or if they are worried that their data may be compromised, they will find somewhere else to take their business.

Conversely, if you can offer a seamless experience, protect their data, and guide them through every stage of the buying journey, you will keep more customers, increase loyalty, build trust, and boost revenue.