By: Jesse Davis West July 15, 2019

In 2018, fewer than 5% of companies used biometric authentication to access work smartphone apps. But Gartner has made a bold prediction: the global research and advisory firm has predicted that 70% of companies using biometric authentication for will implement it via mobile apps by 2022. 

So why are more enterprise companies turning to biometric technologies like facial recognition for identity and access management (IAM) on mobile? Here are some of the top reasons:

Fraud Prevention

Identity fraud remains a huge problem. According to an Experian study, 72 percent of businesses cite fraud as a growing concern. The same study reveals that 75 percent of businesses want advanced authentication and security measures that have no or little impact on user experience. To combat fraud in work scenarios, more companies are looking to implement airtight identity authentication solutions like facial recognition.

Ease of Use 

Face recognition presents an easier option for workers than traditional passwords. Way back in 2016, tech journalist David Pogue predicted that passwords were on the way out. As an example of an alternative, he mentioned an application called Windows Hello, which allows users to replace passwords using biometrics. According to Pogue, “The face [recognition] option is especially exciting. You just sit down at the computer, and it unlocks instantly. You can’t fool it with a photograph or even a 3-D model of your head, because the Intel RealSense camera it requires includes infrared and 3-D sensors.” 

Improved Worker Experience

While worker experience may not be the primary driver for implementing biometric authentication solutions, it is still an important factor. According to Ant Allen, research vice president at Gartner, “Security and risk management leaders responsible for identity and access management (IAM) and fraud prevention continue to seek approaches for identity corroboration that balance trust and accountability against total cost of ownership and UX/CX.”

But facial recognition can simultaneously improve security and worker experience. According to Ant Allen, Implementing [facial recognition] via smartphone apps provides more consistency in UX/CX and is technically simpler than supporting it directly on a variety of different endpoint devices.” 

Ease of Deployment

Facial recognition technologies once required cumbersome deployments, but cloud-based solutions are increasingly available. According to Gartner, “The steady movement of applications to cloud and mobile architectures is also influencing adoption. The combination of functional offerings that are configured, rather than customized, and modern application architectures is causing a substantial portion of the market to adopt SaaS-delivered IAM.” 

This is going to be one of the most important drivers for enterprise adoption. Gartner predicts that by 2022, 40 percent of global midsize and larger organizations will use IAM capabilities delivered as software as a service (SaaS) to fulfill most of their needs. This figure is up from just 5 percent in 2018. Enterprise facial recognition identity management solutions are becoming easier to deploy. In fact, we recently unveiled Two-Minute Deployment, which can deploy a SaaS-based enterprise facial recognition system in just two minutes.

For these reasons and more, we expect to see more and more enterprise companies using facial recognition to improve security and experience for their customers. Facial recognition will also be used increasingly as the go-to identity management system for controlling access to mobile work applications.