tumblr_o6oo7lIBKa1s2tva9o1_500We all know that digital transformation is imminent, but getting there is far from easy.

The digital journey is fraught with challenges, not least of which is customer access.

“Online” is not what it used to be; the online world by many measures is bigger than the “real world” and it’s certainly not just a special corner of a network we occasionally log into.

Many customers spend a substantial part of their lives online. The very word “online” is losing its meaning, withoffline becoming a very unusual state.

So enterprises are finding they need to totally rethink customer identity, bringing together the perspectives of CTO for risk management and engineering, and the CMO for the voice of the customer.

Consider this. The customer experience of online identity was set in concrete in the 1960s when information technology meant mainframes and computers only sat in “laboratories”. That was when we had the first network logon. The username and password was designed by sys admins for sys admins.Passwords were never meant to be easy. Ease of use was irrelevant to system administrators; everything about their job was hard, and if they had to manage dozens of account identifiers, so be it. The security of a password depends on it being hard to remember and therefore, in a sense, hard to use. The efficacy of a password is in fact inversely proportional to its ease of use! Isn’t that a unique property in all consumer technology?The shame is that the same access paradigm has been inherited from the mainframe era and passed right on through the Age of the PCs in the 1980s, to the Internet in the 2000s. Before we knew it, we all turned into heavy duty “computer” users. The Personal Computer was always regarded as a miniaturized mainframe, with a graphical user interface layered over one or more arcane operating systems, from which consumers never really escaped.

But now all devices are computers.

Famously, a phone today is more powerful than all of NASA’s 1969 moon landing IT put together).

And the user experience of “computing” has finally changed, and radically so.

Few people ever touch operating system anymore.

The whole UX is at the app level.

What people know now is all tiles and icons, spoken commands, and gestures. Wipe, drag, tap, flick.Identity management is probably the last facet of IT to be dragged out of the mainframe era. It’s all thanks to mobility. We don’t “log on” anymore, we unlock our device. Occasionally we might be asked to confirm who we are before we do something risky, like look up a health record or make a larger payment. The engineer might call it “trust elevation” or some such but the user feels it’s like a reassuring double check.

Read all at the source: Mobility and the experience of identity | Constellation Research Inc.

Analyst: Steve Wilson on May 22, 2016

My point of view: I always refer to the fall of relationships and the rise of the mere encounter. In such a world a login does not make sense. A short encounter does need a short registration (if needed).  Technology has to adapt to the eroding of forces in our society and economy.

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