Enterprise Customer Identity and Access Management is customer identity and access management (CIAM) employed at an enterprise level, where user identity management ranges from hundreds of thousands to hundreds of millions, or more. At the core of CIAM is authentication and authorization: Authenticate users to ensure they are who they present themselves to be, and authorize them to access applications and services they are allowed to access.

Enterprise identity key elements

At an enterprise level, a company must be able to do these two activities smoothly, securely, and efficiently because customers want a great user experience, and protection from fraud, data leaks and breaches, and privacy violations.


From registration, sign in, and sign out, frictionless and consistent identity journeys will delight your customers and turn them into brand advocates. By making the entry to your applications and services as smooth as possible, you build up your brand’s reputation. Employing the right technologies like single sign-on (SSO), social registration and login, and passwordless authentication can help simplify the registration and login experience of your customers. This is true for enterprises that have multiple applications and services: users will find it exhausting trying to remember credentials for several sites or applications. By logging in once using SSO, customers automatically gain access to all the services and sites they’re allowed in. You should also leverage OpenID Connect (OIDC) to enhance the power of OAuth 2.0 protocols for a secure authentication user journey.


The second vital aspect of enterprise identity management is authorization. After verifying the authenticity of customer credentials and letting them into your applications and services, you should ensure that they can only access the areas they have permission in and do the things that they’re allowed to. This is why customer identity and access management plays a key role in data access governance and data management. Setting the right access protocols and provisioning of data stores can significantly limit exposure to threats, data leaks and breaches. Majority of unauthorized data exposures were due to malicious parties gaining access to user identity credentials, and these compromised accounts had unnecessary access to the company’s data. Basic implementation of security best practices like multi-factor authentication could have prevented these breaches.

Enterprise customer identity and access management Essentials

Successful enterprise identity management means having the following essential features:


Your enterprise identity management solution should be able to scale up or down depending on demand. The last thing you want is having customers suffer a slow sign in or registration experience because your existing systems can’t handle the load.


Your enterprise identity and access management solution must have security at its core. From risk modeling, to fraud prevention, the identity and access solutions you implement will make or break your company’s integrity and overall brand. The solutions you choose should have the latest standards and protocols such as OAuth 1.0/OAuth 2.0 with OpenID Connect (OIDC), and should meet regulatory guidelines while anticipating future needs before they arrive.

Data governance and data management

Enterprises have a lot of data across its various departments, groups and operations. Data is critical to operations and is often considered a main asset. Unfortunately, with large data comes the equally huge task of managing access to it. Millions of users accessing their own data can put a strain on your infrastructure if it’s not properly managed. Along with access, you must also abide by data regulatory guidelines, like the General Data Protection and Regulation (GDPR), conduct compliance and monitoring for all these regulations. Having the right enterprise customer identity and access management platform to handle all these data access and management requirements becomes a necessity for your enterprise’s survival.

Practicality: Build your own or use SaaS

Companies can either build their own CIAM solution or use CIAM SaaS. Both options have their pros and cons but more and more enterprises are now moving to the SaaS model: the reason is simple, using a SaaS Enterprise CIAM solution frees up valuable internal resources, reduces the need to keep up with the latest standards and best practices, and have the best custom solutions that fit their budget and timelines.

Implementing the right enterprise customer identity and access management solution for your company can be a daunting task. Next Reason can help: Next Reason evaluates your challenges and existing systems, then creates a custom solution for your specific goals, security concerns and technical needs. Let’s talk.