Enterprises have numerous custom built applications used by a wide range of users. However, there is one segment of applications that are exposed to Enterprise’s customers. This brings in a demarcation among the applications and can be categorized into 2 groups.
- Customer Facing Applications (CFA)
- Internal Enterprise Applications (IEA)
Let’s take a look at the various factors that brings in the demarcation within the applications.
|Parameters||Customer Facing Applications (CFA)||Internal Enterprise Applications (IEA)|
|Authentication||Identity of the customers and consumers need to be different from the internal employee identity as the provisioning process, lifetime and de-provisioning for the customer/consumer user is very different from employee provisioning
Customers prefer to have a single sign-on (SSO) with their existing identity systems or through an established social networking application
Self-service is important where customers get control of features like password reset
Multi-factor authentication becomes important
Brand management for the authentication experience is important
|Employee identity management is typically used for application identity management as well.
Self-service for identity management of the employee may not be required
|Customer Management||Requires a separate module to manage the customers (and its associated users) as a logical group||All the internal users belong to the Enterprise and hence, no need for this feature.|
|Access Management||Comprehensive access framework will be required to ensure data boundaries are maintained properly and users see only the data that they are supposed to see especially when the customers are B2B customers.
Access policies should be defined by the business application, business rules and business attributes. Policies cannot be defined by internal organization directory groups.
Customer facing applications require a configurable access policy which could vary from one customer to another customer.
The entire access management should have to be managed seamlessly without involving an external IT person and be end user-friendly to configure.
IP zone based restriction is important.
Access Management should support multiple channels.
|Access management is only for internal employees hence clubbed with the internal groups of the employee directory|
|Non-functional requirements||Scalability requirements for the customer facing application are high and the architecture should be robust.
The user experience of customer facing application is high and hence the architecture should be more flexible.
Customer facing applications should definitely be accessible over the internet with multi-device support.
Multi-channel access is preferred for customer facing applications.
|Employee-facing applications only experience lesser load and hence scalability is not a major issue.
Employee-facing applications are mostly accessed in intranet
|Business Rules and Workflow||Enterprises would like to set business rules according to the requirements of the given customer. In some cases, the complete workflow might change from customer to customer. Hence, configurable business rules and workflow is required to address this need.||The degree of complexity is much less and can be addressed through coding logic.|
|Self-Service portal||Customers will need a self-service portal where they can view the list of applications they have access to and their respective activity details.
Self-service portal should also enable customers to control their profile information across all the applications.
|Since only internal employees of the enterprises are going to use there is no necessity for a self-service portal.|
|Notification||The content to be sent out might change from customer to customer, as things like customer name, logo, etc. might change.
You will need a mechanism to easily configure/customize the contents for each customer
|The contents are pretty much the same for all users and hence, no need for reconfigurability of contents.|
||Certain enterprise may provide the applications for a subscription fee. Hence, Enterprises should be able to roll-out various subscription plans under different pricing models.
Enterprises will also need a mechanism in place not only to manage the subscriptions but also support for (customers) making online payments.
|Internal employees are the users and hence, this is not required.
However, certain enterprises may have a chargeback model implemented to track the usage among the various branches/geographies/departments/etc.
It’s very obvious that Customer Facing Applications (CFA) are totally a different breed compared to the Internal Enterprise Applications (IEA). Also, many of the above features/requirements cut across the applications. Therefore, having an (Application Management) platform that can help in the administration and management of the various applications can reduce the complexity to a great extent.
Techcello’s Application Management Platform provides a comprehensive set of features to easily administer and manage multiple customer facing applications. With over 30+ out of the box modules, Enterprises can now have a single pane view of the entire application catalog with a centralized security control and monitoring