Bringing digital experiences to life with identity orchestration

25 January 2023 5 min. read
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Digital experiences can be convenient, secure and privacy-preserving, all at the same time – if the right digital vision and identity orchestration is in place, writes Ashley Diffey, Head of Asia Pacific at Ping Identity.

Service industries have known for a while that experience is everything. However, not every company has proven themselves to be capable of providing experiences to the level that customers expect.

Four years ago, 75% of consumers identified experience as being “just behind price and quality” as a driver in them making purchase decisions. Customers were also more willing to pay a premium for good service, research by PwC found.

Ashley Diffey, Head of Asia Pacific, Ping Identity

A lot has changed in the years since that makes experience even more important in the eyes of customers. Digital has significantly raised the bar for the kinds of experiences that are possible, and that, in turn, has increased customers’ expectations.

The one thing that hasn’t changed is there’s still a gap in expectations – between the kind of experience that customers want, and the one they receive. As McKinsey & Company noted recently, “The opportunity to seize the advantage in digital or omnichannel experiences remains wide open.”

When customers interact with a brand digitally, they expect the entire journey to be easy, personalised, and friction-free. They also expect interactions to respect their privacy and to be secure.

These are pretty reasonable expectations, but there’s historically been some tension in trying to create experiences that are – all at once – convenient, secure, and that privacy-preserving.

Businesses tend to do really well with one aspect while falling short on the other two. Their security might be top-grade, for example, but the user experience really isn’t convenient and data privacy is an afterthought. This often results in digital experiences that satisfy neither customers nor the business.

Where customers land

A 2016 study by McKinsey & Company found that when it comes to experience, 30% of users will prioritise ease and convenience over security; 10% place the highest emphasis on security; and the remaining 60% “are willing to make reasonable tradeoffs in both convenience and security.”

The study illustrated the problem with two hypothetical shoppers hitting up the same retail website. One customer can’t remember their login, goes through a reset, “and winds up feeling frustrated at what seems like a clunky process”; the other remembers their password but finds authentication too simple and draws inferences from that about the site’s security.

“These two customers have very different expectations about their digital security: One values convenience, the other security. How can you possibly make both of them happy?” the researchers said.

Keeping both – or indeed all three potential cohorts of – customers happy is possible. Where businesses go wrong, according to McKinsey, is they take a one-size-fits-all approach that does not take into account variations in customer expectations about the experience. The researchers recommended a more granular approach to the problem.

Enter: identity orchestration

Six years has elapsed since the McKinsey study, and unsurprisingly in that time, alternate options have also since emerged.

Today, one way to optimise convenience, security and privacy in the creation of digital experiences is through the use of identity orchestration. It can help to remove complexities and friction across the customer journey and shape seamless digital experiences while meeting various balances of customer needs.

Identity orchestration provides a flexible approach to designing, testing, and optimising digital experiences that bring together convenience, security, and privacy without compromise.

Businesses can use it to integrate identity services like fraud detection, identity verification and authentication into critical digital touchpoints at every stage of a customer journey.

The advantages

There are three key advantages to using identity orchestration to design and deploy digital experiences.

First, the best identity orchestration platforms are either low-code or no-code; instead, they use an intuitive, graphical (“drag-and-drop”) approach to build seamless and secure end-to-end customer journeys. This saves weeks or months that would otherwise be spent developing custom integrations to connect multiple systems.

This also means teams can rapidly iterate and test experiences without waiting for technical support, meaning they can keep focusing on what is important: delivering customer experiences that drive engagement and revenue.

Second, identity orchestration ensures consistent experiences across every channel. As your use of digital grows, the number of digital touchpoints your business has to design and maintain increases. Identity orchestration makes it easy to optimise the digital experience across multiple applications, devices, and use cases, ensuring customers enjoy consistent, personalised journeys with your brand, no matter what channel they choose to use.

And third, it affords businesses greater control over the customer experience. Identity orchestration allows businesses to use any customer identity or business service to create the perfect digital experience.

If you have a vision of the perfect digital experience, identity orchestration makes turning it into reality much easier. By seamlessly integrating the necessary customer identity services with your business applications, you can design, test, and optimise digital experiences that delight your customers and drive value for your business – eliminating friction, enhancing security, and ensuring compliance with privacy regulations.