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The Single Sign-On (SSO) Playbook

By Stephanie DeCamp Posted February 4, 2020

Single sign-on solutions — what more is there to it? Turns out that for such a simple phrase there are many things to read between the lines. SSO solutions aren’t simply one set of credentials that a user can leverage to access anything — although that’s not too far away.

Today’s SSO solutions are surprisingly multi-faceted. While it seems like the kind of purchasing decision you could go into easily, it quickly becomes much more than that. This is because while most vendors offer SSO for the core group of applications you’re going to work with, they also have a host of other features to consider.

So what distinguishes your options, rather than the SSO itself, are the other features folded in with the service. These include identity and access management (IAM) capabilities far outside the realm of web-app SSO — capabilities that can either make an admin’s life easier or more complex. To get to the bottom of this, we’ve outlined these key considerations to keep in mind before you make the leap — be it with one of the major vendors or another solution.

Playbook Rule #1: Know what you need going in

As mentioned, it’s often the other features outside of SSO that will make or break a purchasing decision. As such, you’ll want to focus on exactly what you need (and what can wait) so you don’t get saddled with features you won’t use, or overcharged for those you need most.  

Playbook Rule #2: Beware hidden costs

When pricing solutions, you’ll often find that some features are a given while others get put on the “additional fee” list. Often, this will include features like multi-factor authentication (MFA) or user provisioning – often referred to by the fancy name, User Lifecycle Management.

Playbook Rule #3: Pay attention to how it’s charged

Every cloud service has a different way of charging their customers. Most charge on per-user basis, but others may also include charges by API calls, or by device. Similarly, you’ll want to check and see whether specific features (Read more…)

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