bring-your-own-identityEmbrace the trend of ‘Bring your own identity’ and discover how valuable social identities are to Universities and other education providers. Most of us are familiar with logging into websites via Facebook when shopping online. This is known as ‘Bring Your Own Identity’, or BYOI, and has been a growing trend over recent years. Driven by the way that young people now expect to use the internet, organizations are increasingly under pressure to use BYOI to deliver all kinds of IT services to end users.

With BYOI, the first thought is often around security. However, many technologies now exist that can be used to secure social transactions sufficiently for most purposes.

However, security and risk is only the first part of the BYOI equation. The second part, which is often missed, is that social identities are tremendously valuable to organizations and this is particularly true for universities. Identities have value because they represent a way of connecting and communicating with a potential customer, or in the HE world, with a potential student. Ultimately, social identities provide a much enhanced way of communicating with prospects, which has a positive direct effect on revenue.

There are two obvious applications of this principle for universities.

Firstly, by allowing registration via social login, universities can remove barriers from the initial interaction with pre-applicants. This social channel can then be used to communicate with pre-applicants and greatly increase the chance of them choosing to study with the university.

Secondly, if a university can ‘harvest’ all of a student’s various social identities, it has the ultimate channel for effective communication when the student becomes an alumnus. Social identities have significantly more potential to deliver revenue through alumni donations when compared to traditional methods such as ‘email for life’.

By embracing BYOI, universities can drive revenue growth whilst also providing the side benefit of delivering IT services to students in a modern, seamless and slick way.

The above piece appeared on page 21, October 2014 edition, University Business 

ProofID is a specialist provider of managed IDM solutions in Academia, with a particular focus on next generation technologies and social identity management.