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CIAM: The 10x Change
Threatening Retail Sales

What is a 10x Change?

10x Change
A change with a magnitude of 10 times that of the changes that a business or industry has been accustomed to.


Many industries have recently undergone a 10x change. In this article, we’ll unveil the 10x change that is threatening the online retail space: customer identity and access management (CIAM).

Failing to Identify 10x Changes Carries Consequences

In Andrew Grove’s book “Only the Paranoid Survive,” he defines the concept of 10x changes that shift industries and businesses. He starts the book with a story of his experience as Intel CEO in 1994 when they lost $500 million dollars due to not properly identifying a 10x change.

What happened at Intel in 1994 was they did not realize that their customers were shifting from the computer manufacturers to the end consumers. At that point, they sold all of their microprocessors to computer manufacturing companies like Dell, who then packaged the Intel product into a fully operational computer.

Problems arose when Intel shipped a new processor with a known physical defect on the chip that caused 1 in 19 billion calculations to be incorrect. Unlike in the past, when consumers held computer manufacturers responsible, customers went directly to Intel for replacement parts. Eventually, a lawsuit was filed against the company, defining a new era in the industry.

Where 10x Changes Are Happening Now

A 10x change is happening with online retail right now. Nearly 30% of households are wary of online shopping, and 26% won’t shop online at all. As more successful ransomware attacks and cybercriminal activity hits breaking news, more customers will be hesitant to give out their credit card information, even during business transactions.

Many retail organizations have the awareness that CIAM is of fundamental importance to their businesses. CIAM builds consumer trust by implementing security measures that don’t cause friction during checkout.

Your company might sell the best industry-leading products, but what consumers are beginning to demand in online retail is user experience. Online retail is a competitive landscape and the organizations that provide the best CIAM experience will increase favorability with consumers.

Is Your Organization Addressing 10x Changes?

As a security or business leader in your organization, it is important to be on the prowl for potential 10x changes in your industry and prepare for CIAM. To start the discovery process, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Could our customer experience for account creation, password management, or order management be improved?
  • How does our customer password reset experience compare to our competitors?
  • Is our CIAM functionality running on homegrown scripts or are we using technology that can scale and enable our future success?
  • Do we have MFA for customers implemented?


These questions require some honest reflection, but they could be a driving force deciding who’s on top in the coming years: your organization or your competitor.

GCA Can Help

GCA specializes in identity and access management. Our MFA experience paired with our history of successful CIAM implementations make us the perfect partner for you. We can help you make checkout easier and more secure. Don’t hesitate to get started—30% of your customer base may be waiting.

Speak with a GCA expert today!

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