The digital revolution: how overcoming security challenges improved customer experience

In the age of connected objects, social networks, smartphones and new consumer behaviours, the IT security department has an increasingly important role for enterprises across all sectors.
One good example of this is the retail sector, where modern, connected customers are constantly engaging with retailers through multiple channels. Technology has given the customer freedom of choice, which has changed their expectations. A study by ACI worldwide found that omni-channel retail sales are forecast to reach £660 billion in Europe by 2018, or 44 per cent of total European sales[1]. As more consumers engage with retailers through multiple channels, IT security experts must overcome a myriad of challenges, which have been crucial to improving the omni-channel experience.
The identity verification challenge
Managing identity verification across multiple platforms and channels has become a major task. Ensuring customers can easily access their information across a range of devices, without having to sign in every time, while still maintaining the safety of that information has become a key issue in facilitating a truly positive customer experience. For many sectors this is crucial, if the customer can easily access information it will lead to more sales. The more cumbersome the sign up and sign on processes, the more users will give up.
A single authentication or Identity Federation helps users who are tired of having to remember more and more login/password pairs to connect to their daily applications. Many organisations use social networks as an Identity Federation mechanism, which works by authenticating a user to a social network and then allowing them to directly access a site’s content, without having to create new user accounts for different platforms. This makes the “acquisition” process smoother and minimises the risk of losing consumers who are reluctant to proceed with another online registration.

IT’s role in digital transformation
The IT department must remain at the heart of the corporate digital transformation in order to support the company securely and as best as possible. The most successful companies are those that have a perfect grasp of more and more hybrid consumer practices and truly understand the impact IT security has on their business.

Article by Thierry Bettini, Director of International Strategy at Ilex International