Standard IAM Business Processes: B2C / Customer Portal
This document introduces best practices for managing users, identity
attributes and entitlements in a typical consumer-facing Extranet
- The focus is on organizations who wish to manage a portal that will
be accessed by large numbers of "customers."
- The term customers is used in a generic sense. They could be literally
customers in the sense of e-commerce, or new patients in a healthcare
context, students or applicants in the context of an educational
institution, citizens in the context of e-government, etc.
- There are really two deployment patterns in this context:
- One where there is a pre-existing relationship between the
organization and consumers. For example, in a typical banking
deployment, customers must have a bank account and probably had
to visit a bank branch to open one, before web portal access
- One where there is no pre-existing relationship between the
organization and consumers. For example, college applicants or
new store customers likely have no prior relationship with the
organization hosting the portal.
- The relationship between the organization and its users is often
weak. A customer may never return to the eCommerce web site.
A patient may not get ill and visit the hospital again. An applicant
may abandon a college application.
- The number of users may be quite large -- reaching into the millions.
- The amount of data about each user is often limited, both because
users do not wish to volunteer much information and because there
are regulatory reasons to avoid capturing much information.
- The variety and complexity of security entitlements assigned to users
is very limited. Few if any roles, probably just a single user object
in a single directory, one user cannot access another's profile, etc.
There are almost certainly no e-mail folders, home directories, etc.
- The variety of complexity of change processes is likely very limited --
on-boarding, deactivation, password changes, password resets,
perhaps profile attribute updates, perhaps out-of-band validation of
attributes such as e-mail address or mobile phone number.
The objective of this document is to present best-practices for what
information to capture about users in a typical Extranet web portal
and business practices for managing this information.
Organizations that are able to adopt best practices processes will
benefit both from optimized change management and from reduced
total cost associated with automating their processes on an identity
and access management (IAM) platform.
Please note that this document is designed to help organizations design
the system by which users are added to, managed in and removed from
their Extranet (B2C) portal. The scope of this document does not
extend to runtime authentication or authorization of users into
applications -- that falls under access control rather than identity
and access management.
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