An acronym for Identity and Access Management, IAM in enterprise IT defines and manages the roles and access privileges of individual network users and the circumstances in which users are granted or denied those privileges. IAM is used to control user access to critical information within an organization. Technologies for IAM include password management tools, two-factor and multi-factor authentication, provisioning software, and reporting and monitoring apps. For any enterprise, IAM is crucial in order to become significantly more agile in supporting business initiatives and meeting ever-changing compliance requirements.

Enterprises have traditionally deployed IAM systems on-premises, but most organizations have made the move towards a cloud-based subscription or hybrid model. A few features of IAM include biometrics, behavior analytics, and artificial intelligence.

Components of IAM

An IAM system should:

  • Capture and record user login information
  • Manage enterprise databases of user identities
  • Arrange assignment and removal of access privileges
  • Provide a central directory
  • Manage digital identities of devices and applications
  • Restrict access to subsets of data based on specific roles.

IAM benefits

  • IAM allows companies to extend access to its IT systems across multiple components without compromising security.
  • The number of help desk calls to IT support regarding password resets are decreased because they can be automated.
  • Internal and external breaches are reduced because control of user access is greater.
  • IAM systems strengthen compliance by providing tools to implement security, audit, and access policy.
  • IT management is streamlined and ROI is enhanced.

Before an IAM system is implemented, businesses should identify who will play a lead role in developing, enacting, and enforcing identity and access policies.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

Top Articles

The Complete List of 1500+ Common Text Abbreviations & Acronyms

Text Abbreviations reviewed by Web Webster   From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 SMS, online chat, and text abbreviations to help you translate and understand...

Windows Operating System History & Versions

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

Generations of Computers (1st to 5th)

Reviewed by Web Webster Learn about each of the 5 generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that...


Monday.com is a cloud-based work operating system that can be used for a...

Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol...

The secure socket tunneling protocol (SSTP) is a VPN protocol where...


Telecommunication refers to telephony and cellular network technology. However, the broader definition includes...