A SSO solution may reduce IT time and costs — Most cloud SSO providers offer authentication services as part of a solution, not as a standalone offer — Competition intensifies in the SSO niche.
Stuttgart, Germany — Cloud Single Sign On (SSO) services are a fairly recent innovation in Identity and Access Management (IAM). While SSO in itself has been around for a while as an on-premise solution, many cloud SSO players have launched commercial services only within the past four years. While IAM consists of identity management, access governance and authentication services, some companies offer simply SSO (e.g. Okta, Ping Identity, Symplified).
SSO is a solution that allows a user to access different applications using a single credential (i.e. username and password). The service has become more relevant for business customers in the past couple of years firstly driven by the take up of, and migration to, enterprise cloud applications. Secondly, in addition to the proliferation of BYOD, the business environment witnesses a “multi-screen access” trend to company applications through various devices – PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablet PCs – all of which need to be registered and authenticated in order to guarantee security. Finally, another driving factor is the increasing number of companies with mobile workers and home-based employees, who need the same level of secure access to key company applications and data.
Currently, most of the available cloud SSO offers come with authentication services and are mainly concerned with access validation and centralising the access to multiple enterprise applications under a single set of credentials. The lack of provisioning/de-provisioning capability to the Active Directory is currently the main weakness of available offers from SSO only players. Full IAM providers in the cloud SSO market manage the full IAM process and centralise the administration of the system, offering the possibility to further reduce IT costs under a single provider. This is why many companies that offer cloud SSO are also full IAM providers like CA Technologies, Covisint, Lighthouse Security, RSA Aveksa, SailPoint and Simeio Solutions.
Current offers are quickly deployed and depending on the use (employees, partners or end-users), number of identity sources (AD, LDAP, etc.) and number of custom integrated applications, the service can be running at maximum in 2 weeks compared with 1 to 2 months for some on-premise solutions. SSO services are currently subscription-based and are commonly paid per user, though some companies offer Enterprise License Agreements for large enterprises. Unlike with some other managed services, the offers foresee to start with a one-year-contract. As a cloud offer, the providers host the services, although some companies, such as McAfee, Symantec and Symplified, offer also a license alone while the customer hosts the service in its private data centres.
About this extract: some of the results of a recent study conducted by InfoCom surveying Identity & Access Management solutions, offers & market potential. If you are interested to know more, do not hesitate to get in contact with us. Talk to us. We listen.
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