by Christopher Oldman
Single Sign-On is a system that permits you to enter your credentials just once to access multiple online services on different websites.
With SSO, you only need one username and password for all the sites where you want to log in. It’s like having a key that unlocks any door at school or work.
If an organization has this system in place, you don’t have to remember a separate username and password for each site.
You can simply sign in with your organization’s credentials. As an employee, you can focus on your work and not worry about forgetting your login information.
The benefits of the system are vast. This article will name only the key ones.
How Does SSO Work?
The most important part of understanding SSO is grasping how it works. When you enter your credentials into a site that uses it, the site contacts a central server. This server authenticates your information and grants you access to the site.
You may have used this system without even realizing it. In fact, many popular sites, such as Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn, use it. When you sign in to any of these sites, you’re actually signing in to them all with the same credentials.
1. Increased Productivity
The number one benefit here is increased productivity. With this authentication scheme, employees don’t have to spend time trying to remember multiple usernames and passwords. They can simply sign in and start working. In fact, employees who use it save an average of 2 minutes per day.
This may not seem like much, but it adds up. Over the course of a year, an employee will save nearly 10 hours. That’s 10 hours that can be spent on more productive tasks.
2. Improved Security
Another great benefit of SSO is improved security. When employees use the same password for multiple sites, it’s easy for hackers to gain access to sensitive information.
With this system, each employee has a unique username and password for each site. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to your information.
It puts security in the hands of professionals instead of each individual employee. Your organization is the one responsible for security, meaning that there’s no room for error and that you don’t have to count on the IT skills of various levels of your employees.
3. Reduced IT Costs
Let’s not forget that this way of doing things can also reduce your IT costs. When employees have to remember multiple usernames and passwords, it burdens the IT department.
When you implement this system, the IT department no longer has to manage multiple logins for each employee. This saves the department time and money.
Of course, your IT department will still be valuable. They’ll just have more time to focus on other, more important tasks.
4. Enhanced User Experience
SSO also enhances the user experience. As we have already mentioned, you only have to remember one set of credentials. This makes it easy and convenient for users to sign in to multiple sites. It also reduces the number of steps users have to take to sign in.
While not as big of a benefit as some others, improved employee satisfaction through a better user experience can definitely not be overlooked.
5. Greater visibility into user activity
With this scheme in place, you have greater visibility into user activity. This is because all activity is logged in one central location. This gives you the ability to see which employees are using which sites and how often they’re using them.
While this information shouldn’t be misused, it can help you understand which sites are being used the most and which ones are being underutilized. This information can be valuable in making decisions about which sites to keep and which ones to get rid of.
6. Increased compliance
Increased compliance is another excellent benefit. With SSO in place, you can ensure that all employees are using the same set of credentials. This makes it easy to track and manage employee activity. It also makes it easier to comply with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
This makes your organization run smoothly and helps you stay compliant with regulations. You won’t have to worry about hefty fines or other penalties.
7. Decreased password reset costs
You can also count on decreased password reset costs.
When employees use different passwords for multiple sites, they’re more likely to forget it. This results in a lot of time spent resetting passwords.
The new system takes care of the heavy lifting for your employees, thus making it less likely for employees to forget their passwords.
In turn, this can reduce the number of password reset requests.
How Can You Implement SSO?
Now that you know the benefits, you might be wondering how you can implement them. There are a few different ways to do this.
The first way is to use an identity management system. This system manages all of the identities for your organization. It includes features such as password management and user provisioning.
Identity management systems are a great option if you want to manage your identities yourself. They’re also a good option if you’re going to use your own authentication system.
If you don’t want to manage your own identities, you can use a cloud-based SSO service. This service manages all of the identities for your organization.
The differences between available features are non-existent, including password management and user provisioning.
Cloud-based services are a good option if you want someone else to manage your identities. They’re also a good option if you’re using a third-party authentication system.
No matter which way you choose to implement the scheme, the benefits remain the same.
What Do You Need to Make SSO Work in Your Organization?
If you want to implement this system in your organization, there are a few things you need.
First, as we have already mentioned, you need an identity management system or a cloud-based service. Second, you need a way to authenticate users. This can be done with an authentication server or using a third-party authentication system.
Third, you need quality IT services companies. This will ensure that your SSO implementation is smooth and easy to use. Additionally, it can help you to create a custom login page that fits with your organization’s branding.
Fourth, you need to train your employees on how to use the new system. This might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can use an employee training program or create your training materials.
Once you have these things in place, you’re ready to implement your new system for authentication.
Since this can be a big undertaking, it’s best to start planning for it a few months in advance and inform employees about the change in time. It might seem overwhelming, but it’s definitely worth it.
Is It Expensive?
One of the great things about this authentication system is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. If you use a cloud-based SSO service, you can get started for as little as $5 per month.
If you want to manage your own identities, you’re looking at a much higher potential price tag. However, this price tag can be offset by the savings you see from reduced password reset costs.
Of course, the price will also depend on the vendor you use. It’s good to do your research for quality and affordable vendors before deciding on whom you’ll do business with.
What Size Does Your Business Need to Be to Use SSO?
The size of your business doesn’t matter when it comes to using this system. You can use it regardless of how many employees you have.
In fact, even the smallest businesses can benefit from using it. This is because it can help to streamline employee activity and make your organization more efficient.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
While this authentication scheme has a lot of benefits, it’s not perfect. There are a few drawbacks to consider.
First, implementing SSO can be expensive. This is especially true if you choose to manage your own identities.
Second, the authentication scheme can be tricky to set up. If you’re not familiar with identity management systems, you might have a hard time getting everything up and running.
Third, you may find it difficult to track employee activity until you get used to the system. This is because all activity will be tied to a single login.
Fourth, SSO can be insecure if it’s not implemented correctly. This is why it’s essential to work with a reputable web design company.
Despite these drawbacks, it’s still an excellent option for many businesses.
SSO is a great way to streamline employee activity and make your organization more efficient. It can also help to reduce password reset costs.
Once you implement it into your organization, you may discover it has even more benefits than listed here.
Even though there are some drawbacks, the good definitely outweighs the bad and makes this system an excellent choice for any business.
Hopefully, this article has given you a lot to think about, and you’ll be able to start the implementation soon.
Christopher is a Digital Marketing specialist, Project Manager and Editor at Find Digital Agency and a passionate blogger. He is a devoted and experienced author who loves to pay attention to quality research and details. Focused on new digital trends and voice distribution across different channels, he starts the day scrolling digest on new digital trends while sipping a cup of coffee. In his free time Christopher plays drums and Magic: the Gathering.