ForgeRock Intelligent Access Trees Simplifies Access Management

This syndicated post originally appeared at Zeus Kerravala, Author at eWEEK.

In a digital-first world, identity orchestration plays an important role in improving customer experience.

Recently, identity and access management (IAM) provider ForgeRock rolled out the latest version of its identity orchestration capability, called Intelligent Access Trees.

For years, Trees have enabled organizations to build seamless journeys for their end users while providing administrators and developers with building blocks, called nodes, for creating these journeys. While workflow systems have been around for many years, there is immense variation in their capabilities, effectiveness, and cost of ownership.

ForgeRock Makes Authentication “Drag and Drop”

ForgeRock designed Intelligent Access to be easy to work with as it includes a visual designer with a drag-and-drop interface. Without writing any code, businesses can design, configure, measure, and adjust multiple user journeys and even add or remove steps in the process, depending on the situation.

There are three Trees features that are worth calling out:


Orchestration is built into the ForgeRock platform and is part of its fabric. This means it can be used in all major components of the platform, including identity management, access management, and governance. It is a single code base with identical functionality across cloud, on-prem and hybrid deployments.

Pre-Built Nodes

The system comes with hundreds of pre-built nodes out of the box. They span a wide range of use cases, from registration and progressive profiling to social authentication and new forms of MFA.

AI Capabilities

The platform’s AI capabilities are tightly integrated within their authentication nodes. Autonomous Access, for example, brings artificial intelligence, ML, and advanced pattern recognition to make fast, smart access decisions that block unauthorized access and create seamless journeys for legitimate users.

Customer Experience Requires Simpler Authentication

Providing simple digital authentication has always been important but has now become business critical. Two-plus years ago, the pandemic forced everyone out of their offices, stores, banks, and classrooms and onto the Internet, and there are no signs that this shift will every fully revert back.

For businesses, the move to digital has brought an intense focus on customer experience. It has been well documented by many research organizations, including my own, that customer experience is now the top brand differentiator outweighing almost every other factor, including price and product quality. Companies that had spent years refining the in-store experience had to eschew that experience for online and mobile ones.

Getting the experience right is imperative and the stakes are quite high. An interesting factoid in my research is that in the last year, two-thirds of millennials admitted to changing loyalties to a brand because of a single bad experience. With the majority of the world having moved to digital, a company’s web and mobile experience is where it will build brand loyalty or cause customers to embrace a competitor.

Simple but Effective Security: The Weak Link

Security poses a number of problems for companies, particularly in the area of IAM, which has become central to the IT infrastructure. Organizations must ensure high security while providing a pleasant, straightforward experience. Achieving both must go beyond improving the password-recovery process — it must include providing seamless access to services and applications throughout the user’s journey.

For example, a banking customer might first log into her checking account, but then moves to check her IRA and college fund with the bank’s brokerage unit. This journey requires multiple systems and applications to interface — and they all need to be orchestrated together. Most users want this kind of ease, with no need for repeated logins, but not at the cost of reduced security.

Until recently, there hasn’t been an easy way to tie all these disparate systems together and manage them effectively. Even in cases where the user experience was good, the IT underneath was “spaghetti,” making it error-prone and expensive to maintain. The rise of the cloud has further complicated the legacy integration problem faced by IT organizations. The new ForgeRock solution orchestrates these separate components and takes IAM, which often led to a negative experience, and makes it a competitive differentiator.

An Intense Focus on End-to-End Experiences

The world is rapidly becoming digital-first and some may argue we are already there. Clearly, digital transformation is continuing. As companies continue to push workers and customers to digital interfaces, it’s important to keep experience in mind.

If registration and authentication systems are too complex, users become frustrated, which leads to employee and customer churn. ForgeRock’s Intelligent Access Trees simplify authentication and access management, which disrupts the notion that good security gets in the way of good experience.

Author: Zeus Kerravala

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his clients in the current business climate and long term strategic advice.