An introduction to customer identity and access management


When I started at Salesforce nearly a decade ago, I was intrigued by the potential of combining customer engagement data and services with identity. Back then customer identity and access management (CIAM) was newish. The amount I didn’t know was staggering and frankly I still have a lot to learn.

But have over the years learned a few things. Some things I learned through my product customers. Some I learned through my internal customers who used my technology (and engineering teams) to run a CIAM for Salesforce. Taking those lessons, combining them with what I have learned from people like Vittorio Bertocci, Michiel Stoop, and Andrew Cameron, I am thrilled to write this Introduction to Customer Identity and Access Managment.

The article is part of IDPro’s Body of Knowledge. If you don’t know IDPro, it’s the professional association for digital identity practitioners. One of the most important things IDPro provides, besides an amazing safe space for practitioners to learn from one another, is the Body of Knowledge (BoK) – a series of vendor-neutral articles of different areas within and adjacent to digital identity.

CIAM has been a glaring hole in the BoK. I’ve wanted to fill it for some time, but never found the time. And that’s when IDPro’s esteemed Principal Editor and Acting Executive Director, Heather Flanagan, stepped in to remind me how much I wanted to write it. There was no avoiding the fact that it had to be written. I hope you take it, learn from it, and hopefully build upon it.