Identities are assets. Like any asset, also identities need a strategic approach on how to best utilize them. In a business world, there are two main types of identities; internal and external. When you login to your Windows network in the morning, you are using your internal identity. When a customer logs in to your company' dealer portal, they are most probably using a password issued by the portal platform, and their company and basic contact information is stored in your CRM.
Internal, or employee identities will make your life easier as an employee as you don't have to login to each and every system separately when using your corporate applications. When you joined the company, your data was recorded within the Human Resources system, and if an internal identity and access management (IAM) system was in place, your identity with the appropriate roles and group information was provisioned to your company’s directory service. Does this create additional revenue for your company? No, but it improves convenience and efficiency for your employees.
Customer contract information is created within the customer relationship management (CRM) system. The customer organization is documented there with all the relevant contacts. Traditionally, this information is maintained by either sales, or in some cases by customer service. If you have more than a handful of customers, you will face data quality issues along the way. Over time, customer information ages and becomes outdated or inaccurate. The estimates differ on the average percentage of outdated customer information stored within CRM systems, but typically cited numbers fall between 20% - 40%. The so called “dirty data” creates problems for your company’s efforts in marketing and up-sell, but it can frustrate your customers as well when they have to deal with customer service representatives, or sales.
Sales, marketing and business development functions within your company will create new revenue or new opportunities for increased revenue. If your sales organization can concentrate 100% on new customer acquisition or up-sell opportunities, and marketing has accurate and up-to-date information on customers and other stakeholders, you can more easily increase your revenue.
When your company is creating the strategy around identity and access management, make sure that the correct departments within your company are driving the strategy for external users. Your IT or HR department do not have a stake in external customer-centric identity management, sales and marketing do. Make sure you have a plan to integrate your IAM solution for external users with your CRM. This integration link makes it possible to automate customer registration processes, and also give the customer control over their data. You don't want to let your customers access your CRM, but an identity management system that lets external users manage their own identities through workflows or self-service functions, and update the CRM automatically ensures that your data becomes accurate and up-to-date. Integrating IAM with your CRM will minimize the amount of “dirty data” within your CRM, making your sales and marketing efforts 20% - 40% more efficient.