IT teams have to do small tasks daily that cost time and distract from the big picture — things like creating a ton of passwords for employees and maintaining them. SSO (Single-Sign-On) creates a centralized password system for companies; that way, our employees can keep passwords themselves, we reduce costs, and make life easier for everyone.
We've put together what you can expect from implementing an SSO system, what the process can look like, and what technical and business benefits you can reap from doing so.
Single sign-on is what it says precisely — it allows you (or one of your employees) to sign in to a system just once and access everything without entering login details each time. The goal is to relieve users of the burden of having to remember X passwords. You might have seen "Login with Google" or "Login with Facebook" buttons around the web — these are great examples of SSO solutions.
These solutions that large cloud companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google offer seem uncomplicated and straightforward. They are handy without a doubt if it weren't for data protection issues. The problem with these big players is that all user data is stored by third-party providers; personal information is moved back and forth. Without an internet connection, you can't get access to the system, which is why we use Keycloak instead (more on that later).
SSO makes things simple; we use it regularly to minimize internal IT support and make life easier for employees — yet there are still certain things you need to keep in mind when deciding what SSO technology to implement.
In our humble opinion, implementing SSO technology has many advantages; these are the most important ones from a technology and business perspective.
Data security is a big topic and always will be in IT. A solid software and application landscape secures your data. SSO minimizes system entry points, which helps lower data breach risk and improves data security.
Do employees have to remember ten passwords or just one? This slight difference can make life easier for employees and avoid the day-to-day frustration of tracking down their passwords.
Hash algorithms guarantee that passwords remain secure and centralized — making the system easier to maintain from an IT perspective.
When a new employee joins or leaves the company, it can sometimes be a hassle ensuring they gain or lose their access rights to all the systems. With SSO, you can add or remove an employee in just one click. Which makes life easier for everyone and is also safer in ensuring nobody has access to information they shouldn't have access to.
A solution that makes life easier for employees and the IT department to focus on their primary work can significantly improve employee satisfaction. Logging into systems might seem insignificant at first, but it really isn't if you have to do it at least twice a day, every single day — if that process is suddenly easy and smooth, employees are happier too.
Every company needs to watch its bottom line, and the IT department is usually not the least expensive factor in the equation. This is why reducing IT resources (which was previously needed to maintain passwords and giving support to employees having trouble) can also affect your bottom line.
We at TRIGO have been betting on Keycloak as our go-to SSO system for many years now, for quite a few reasons, but the main one being: it's based on open source technology, which means we can customize the SSO system to our client's needs and always remain flexible.
But why does it make sense to build a customized SSO system for your company rather than use a standard solution? Here are the main technical and business advantages we've seen manifest in our client projects.
Developing customized SSO means you have complete data ownership and control, no passing on data to third-party solutions.
Keycloak is open source, which means your business can remain independent like you as an entrepreneur: it makes you independent.
With open source solutions like Keycloak, you can easily integrate new systems at any stage, keeping your options open to expand the system as needed.
To return to the previous point: systems change, so do customers — and that's a good thing: systems can grow and change with the software portfolio. With a Keycloak solution, everything can be connected, including old systems.
Employees and users benefit from Keycloak because they no longer have umpteen login details and only have to remember one — and at that, we can also implement a corporate brand interface to make employees feel at home.
Keycloak has become a solid part of our tech stack to make internal processes more straightforward and has also been successfully implemented in many of our client projects.
Implementing Keycloak can significantly reduce internal employee support for many reasons (more on that below). If you think SSO might be a great option to add to your tech stack and reduce internal support, this is what the process can look like:
First, we need to collect all the employees' current login data. Once collected from the existing database and/or the database has been created, it's time to migrate the data to the SSO solution. The new SSO interface gives the power to the user — they don't just have one password, but they also have more responsibility and can change settings without assistance. And if they do need help, we're talking about one password, not twenty.
The main goal is that the users do everything themselves to avoid costs for a central office.
Users themselves can use the SSO interface to:
This allows the IT department and development teams to devote their time to more important things rather than internal IT support tasks, saving everyone frustration and unnecessary chaos — which is more cost-effective for the company and a more enjoyable way of working.
Want to simplify your employee login process and significantly reduce internal IT support?
Drop our CEO David an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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