Identity-access provider Okta unlocks Thailand’s app-based business boom
Okta, a leading American identity and access management provider, has vowed to boost the competitiveness of Thai businesses by integrating simple but highly secure identity controls into cloud-based applications.
The commitment comes just as businesses are digitalising their operations and services to adapt to the post-Covid changes in lifestyle and workstyle.
Okta general manager Digital Native Business, Asia Pacific region and Japan, Richard Marr, told The Nation on Tuesday that the company provides cloud software that helps businesses handle and secure user authentication.
Meanwhile, Okta offers software for developers to build identity controls for applications, websites, web services, and devices.
He said that Thailand is a significant market for Okta due to its ongoing digital transformation, which is boosting the trend of digital native businesses (DNBs), which manage the majority of their business online. DNBs take a customer-centric approach and recognise that their customers prefer an individualised and caring service.
DNB's technology spending is increasing at a rate of about 20.8% per year, according to the International Data Corporation. This represents a sizeable market for Okta.
"Our core philosophy is to collaborate seamlessly with partner platforms on multi-cloud platforms like Google and Amazon Web Service. In order to maintain its company leadership position, we invest heavily in research and development to develop customer-centric solutions," Marr said.
He explained that as companies implement applications to increase employee and customer engagement, identity verification such as username and password are required.
However, most businesses now offer more than one application to their employees and clients. This requires users to create a new unique name and password to gain access to the system, he noted.
"Identity solution is one of the challenges for the digital native businesses," he said.
Okta reports that approximately 12% of users will abandon a new app service from the same company if they are required to create a new username and password.
The issue of identity is also one of the major reasons that companies delay the launch of new products and services, preventing them from modernising clunky, monolithic apps and imposing high costs for engineering, maintenance, and security.
Okta's annual “Businesses at Work 2023” report revealed that identity verification solutions are on the rise as modern workforces rely more and more on applications and services to be productive.
Meanwhile, a growing number of people use applications in their daily lives. As a result, the line between work and personal life is more blurred than ever, reflected by apps that offer both corporate and personal usage.
This is where Okta comes in.
Marr said Okta assists its clients in reducing complexity with a single identity while still protecting users' privacy and company security at an affordable cost.
The company currently offers two core services: workforce identity cloud and customer identity cloud.
He said both options have received continuous positive feedback from clients all over the world, including Thailand, because they help save time and cost.
As a result, businesses can concentrate on developing their core products and services through their own innovation.
He emphasised that pandemic-related acceleration of transformation initiatives has given businesses worldwide including in Thailand the boost they require for more effective support of hybrid workforces, dependable security, and seamless global collaboration.
Most companies in mature markets, such as Japan, are more likely to use an outsource provider to help them with identity verification solutions, he said, whereas those in developing markets – roughly two-thirds of the Asia Pacific market – are currently using in-house solutions.
In Thailand, for example, approximately 66% of digital enterprises have built their own solutions, including an identity system that includes sign-up, access to services, and delivery services.
"That number presents Okta with opportunity. We are not in a cost-conscious red-sea market. We are in a blue-sea market, which is about assisting companies with technological disruption," Marr noted.
Thai companies are increasingly realising that developing their own solutions, which is not part of their expertise, is causing them to lose competitiveness because they struggle to move faster while incurring additional costs for engineering and security, and discouraging better customer experience.
Hence Thailand is a huge market and a real opportunity for Okta. The company is taking that opportunity seriously, deploying a local team to provide and educate people about its services.
Marr said three factors distinguish Okta's service from others.
First, Okta services are designed by engineers and developers. Second, the company saves significant time, with 94% of its customers ready for the digital market within a month. Finally, it offers frictionless accessibility and easy-to-use applications that can increase customer conversion by 15%.
Marr revealed that Okta is now developing innovations for employee streaming as well as a system called fine-grained authorization, which is software as a service (SaaS) built for developers to solve fine-grained access control at scale.
Another Okta innovation, for DNBs, uses complex information technology (IT) infrastructure with technology, databases, and services to provide privileged access management.
These new products are expected to be available within the next 18 months, he said.
Okta is a global identity company that aspires to be the leading independent identity partner, enabling customers to use any technology, anywhere, on any device or app, safely. As a result, business leaders and developers can concentrate on innovation while accelerating digital transformation.
Established in 2009, the company has a strong presence ranging from large enterprise customers to small businesses, with consistent growth year after year. Okta recently announced full year revenue of US$1.86 billion, representing 46% year-on-year growth.