Archive for March, 2008

Advantages of User-Centric Identity

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

In a world of increasing openness and user-centric -ness (user-centric identity, increasing user-choice, user-controlled data), how do you convince enterprises to give up the data that they guard so dearly? One way to put it may be “it’s happening whether you like it or not, so you might as well go with the flow”. While companies can certainly go with the flow, more forward-thinking corporations may decide to do it more pro-actively, rather than being forced to react.

There were some talks about how VRM relates to DataPortability on the DataPortability-Public mailing list. In particular, this excerpt of a blog post from Adriana Lukas sums up the “What’s in it for business” aspect very well:

What’s in it for businesses?

We live in an increasingly decentralized world with more customer choice, yet vendors continue to fiercely collect and control customer data and exploit the opportunities therein. The ultimate goal of VRM is better relationships between customers and vendors, by considering and constructing tools that put the customer in control of their data and ultimately their relationships with other individuals, companies and institutions.

Benefits of ‘letting go’ of customer data:

  • Customers share the burden of storing and protecting the data – eases compliance, privacy & security concerns
  • Increased access to information about customers – direct benefits to the customer to share more data rather than less.
  • New services from previously unavailable access to customer data

The first bullet is a good point that I had never thought about, and is a very practical benefit. The second point is a classic example of “less-is-more”; maintain less control, and gain more in return. The third point being direct consequence of the second.

When will we see the first product that presents a holistic solution with tangible benefits of VRM to companies, as well as integration with / transition from their existing CRM systems?