Card Management Systems (CMS) provide support for the use of cryptographic cards, often called smart cards, in an organization. While the specific functions may vary depending on the vendor, in general, CMS provide the software and hardware mechanisms to create cards and bind them to the identity of the person who will use the card to authenticate to various systems.
Most products include the ability to manage USB or hardware tokens as well as PKI certificates. Tools that make it possible to share identity and credentials with a centralized directory that provides authorization for the authenticated user are also an important feature that’s frequently a part of the system.
It’s important that the cryptographic modules and interfaces are standards based to ensure interoperability with access controls to many kinds of resources. FIPS compliance adds an additional level of assurance.