Although the identity and access management (IAM) market is still emerging in China, its importance and priority have grown significantly due to digital transformation trends, regulatory requirements, and increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks and the resulting data breaches.

Identity and access management solutions enable companies to manage internal and external identities. IAM solutions accelerate digital transformation journeys such as cloud migration and business and IT process automation. IAM solutions in China provide some key benefits:

  • Managing remote and cross-border access and compliance. Remote work increases the risk of access compromise and data breaches. IAM vendors help companies manage remote access securely. Zhongfu Shenying Carbon Fiber, a manufacturer with remote multibusiness centers, used a unified business asset security publishing portal from Enlink Cloud to manage access and protect business secrets. Another important remote scenario is cross-border IAM. Accenture helped a Chinese home appliance company manage cross-border access, allowing employees of acquired firms outside of China to seamlessly access groupwide applications with local security measures in place.
  • Automating IAM processes to reduce costs. The recent economic downturn has made cost reduction via IAM process automation a top priority for firms in China. Manual IAM operations are expensive and increase the risk of cybersecurity incidents, as humans are usually the weakest link. Dongfeng Motor Corporation (DMC) had a primarily manual IAM operation with limited online functions; user management tasks were mainly handled via offline notifications manually maintained by administrators, resulting in a heavy workload. Bamboocloud’s IAM solution enabled DMC to automatically track access records for manufacturing employees.
  • Easing user, application, and system management at scale. Digital transformation initiatives have caused applications, systems, and digital identities to proliferate, which is difficult to manage — a pain point that IAM vendors are addressing. Volcano Engine’s SealSuite (Feilian) IAM solution unifies the management of more than 100,000 employee identities and 250,000 office terminals globally for ByteDance. Trusfort provided single sign-on and authorization control for the Bank of Chongqing and helped consolidate the logins to its 59 internal management information systems, solving the internal access unification problem and improving the employee experience.
  • Complying with regulations. Static passwords and one-time passwords (OTPs) are increasingly vulnerable to new threats such as SIM-swap fraud. Regulators in China have mandated that companies support multifactor authentication (MFA) to enhance security and transform legacy password authentication approaches. NSFOCUS offers holistic MFA solutions, including biometrics, static passwords, and OTPs, to help organizations meet regulatory requirements and mitigate emerging sophisticated cyberattacks.

Firms in China show growing interest in adopting emerging IAM technologies, including the following:

  • Passwordless authentication tops the agenda to cure password pain. Although most firms in China still use passwords, they increasingly demand passwordless authentication to lower admin costs, make security operations more efficient, and mitigate password-associated data breach risks. Among security decision-makers in China with security ops responsibilities, 79% are currently adopting passwordless authentication for employees or partners. Hanshow used Bamboocloud’s passwordless authentication capability to simplify employee access to multiple applications that require different passwords. Many firms adopt MFA to augment passwords before going fully passwordless.
  • DDID plays a key IAM role in distributed environments. The decentralized digital identity (DDID) ecosystem usually has four components. Enterprise blockchain platforms provide network infrastructure; issuers such as governments issue user credentials; verifiers such as banks verify claims; and users store their self-controlled credentials in digital wallets. DDID solutions increase data privacy protection and enable seamless identity verification and authentication. WeBank’s WeIdentity solution allows patients to use a single hospital-issued credential to access healthcare services from hospitals, pharmacies, and insurers.
  • IDaaS is gaining traction for cost-effectiveness and scalability. While the adoption of identity as a service (IDaaS) is less mature than that of many other IAM technologies, firms in China are putting it on their agenda to reduce costs, as it can effectively offload the burden of operations and maintenance from their on-premises IAM platforms. IDaaS also scales better, which appeals to high-growth companies. In the beverage industry, Yuanqi Forest used the rich development resources of Authing’s IDaaS solution to manage its growing workforce and number of applications.

If you want to learn more details about the IAM market in China, please refer to our latest reports: The State Of Identity And Access Management In China and IAM Solutions Are Delivering Six Key Benefits In China. Forrester clients can also schedule a guidance session or inquiry.