Identity piece completes the digital services jigsaw

Mark Tims, Partner Technology, Risk & Assurance
Mark Tims, Partner Technology, Risk & Assurance
John Havers, CEO First Point Global
John Havers, CEO First Point Global

We are witnessing a digital revolution, spawned by the proliferation of mobile devices, the convenience of apps and the pervasiveness of internet connectivity. Information can be sought about anything, any time, any place from any device. You can hear a song, Shazam it, then stream it or own it in under a minute.

This is a rather simple example of the new economy, however, it is a convenience that consumers are embracing and expecting. While great for consumers, these kinds of apps have disrupted entire industries and caused disintermediation in supply chains. Other examples are services like Netflix and Uber, which are changing the way that we acquire entertainment and transport. Great for the winners and very painful for the losers.

The revenue creation opportunities offered by the digital economy have become a powerful motivator for businesses to adopt new technology and engage with their customers via these new channels. Digital strategy is now a boardroom topic, and rightly so. A recent interview with Brian Hartzer, the incoming CEO of Westpac, is one such example.

It has come to the point where there is an expectation in the corporate world that customers can simply download an app and transact from wherever they are. Yet, that easy to acquire and use app masks a ton of engineering complexity that the consumer doesn’t see and doesn’t need to deal with.

Digital winners know that customers are front and centre of any kind of digital transaction and it’s the customer relationship that needs to be nurtured. This is a basic business principle which digital doesn’t change. For example, let’s assume you use multiple devices. You are still you whether you are using an Android device, a Chrome browser, or if you are in a different time zone transacting from an airline lounge. It would diminish your experience (and possibly raise your blood pressure) if you were denied access because a system didn’t know who you were.

Consumers also need to believe they can trust organisations with private information. That manifests itself two ways. Firstly, they want a say in who data is shared with. People don’t want to receive offers from suppliers they don’t know because their data has leaked out inadvertently to another company in the supply chain. So organisations need to embed privacy management and consent to share that data. They need to seek customer buy-in.

Moreover, consumers expect their information will be secured against data breaches. With the increasing prevalence and seriousness of cyber security threats – including malware, identity theft, cyber espionage, hacktivism and others – access to systems and valuable information must be managed. No organisation wants a repeat of what happened to a number of US retailers when millions of credit card details were stolen from their systems in 2013.

Back to that app you downloaded. Behind it lies a wealth of sophisticated engineering that relies on robust cyber security, and management of the consumer’s digital identity, referred to as identity and access management.

Organisations want to align their strategic digital initiatives with the technologies and processes that enable them and, at the same time, mitigate any associated risks. Because the expertise that underpins identity and access management and cyber security is so broad and so deep, and the business issues associated with new digital services are so complex, it’s been difficult for any one organisation to address all the challenges.

We were both very pleased to announce on March 19 that KPMG Australia is acquiring First Point Global and expanding its cyber security business – completing the jigsaw to create the one stop shop that will serve our clients, and our clients’ clients.

 

Feature Image:Copyright:  / 123RF Stock Photo

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