What is Single sign-on or SSO?
Single sign-on makes login easy for users
Single sign-on (SSO) is a method of authentication that allows a user to sign in to multiple accounts with one log-in and password. If you’ve ever used your Facebook ID to validate your usage of another app, or if you’ve logged into Gmail to find you’re also logged in to YouTube or Google Drive, then you’re already using a form of pseudo-SSO. (Biometrics are another type of pseudo-SSO, since a fingerprint or face scan validates your identity and allows the log-in info stored in your smartphone to be used based on this validation.)
With the proliferation of passwords and sometimes also usernames, solutions have been developed to allow users a more streamlined experience that is also less taxing on their memory.
Organizations benefit from single sign-on
There are advantages to organizations too: with user logins managed via single-sign-on, there are fewer support requests for forgotten or incorrect passwords.
Some pseudo-SSO applications can be a less secure option, tracking your logins as part of their advertising data.
For SSO services, their business and therefore their priority is in data security.
Internally, staff can also benefit from using SSO. How easy is it to login once and be able to access every other program needed for the rest of the workday?
Here’s an idea of how SSO is being adopted in the IT field.
Many leading nonprofits have already made the switch to SSO using tools such as Okta, which includes SSO service.
An international clean water charity switched from donated infrastructure to cloud-based services for its staff and used Okta single-sign-on to streamline accounts.
A national education charity partnered with Okta for its thousands of staff, teachers, and alumni to access online resources and collaborate. A national health charity switched to SSO with Okta so staff and volunteers could log in to their intranet with a familiar username and their own email address, and easily retrieve password reset info; this also streamlined user management and reporting and increased password security.
Implementing single sign-on
For those looking at implementing SSO, the old adage holds true…
The best time to do it is last year, but the second-best time is today.
Typically, the longer you wait, the more systems there are that need to be addressed, including new ones recently added without SSO in mind. Implementing such a change sooner rather than later means anything new that is being added can be incorporated into SSO from the beginning. This can reduce confusing changes for staff and supporters as well as duplicate work done to start up with different processes in place.
Technology providers such as Engaging Networks getting the jump on SSO allow clients to implement this change early for more streamlined functions down the road.
Half the battle when moving to SSO is looking at your data (e.g. is your data clean, is it consistent and it is housed in the right fields and locations) to ensure membership, email addresses and other pertinent information is up-to-date. A clean database will reduce problems during implementation, testing and eventually launch, streamlining the experience for users and reducing complications.
Launching on SSO can also be a good opportunity to review user experience and consider how donors or other supporters are introduced to and interact with your organization. It’s a moment to improve things that aren’t seamless and think strategically about how you can add to their donor/supporter journey.
Consider single sign-on for your organization
Is SSO a good fit for your organization? If you’re growing, spending too much time on resetting accounts for staff, supporters or other partners, or looking to provide a seamless experience between multiple platforms and programs, consider SSO as a solution. Reach out to our Client Success team with questions, our partner and author of this blog post, Candela Strategies, or request a demo to learn more.
This article was provided courtesy of Engaging Networks Accredited partner, Candela Strategies. Candela is a full-service fundraising, marketing and management agency that provides strategic consulting and creative to non-profits and charities. Their mission is to make tomorrow better than today by helping non-profits achieve their goals and further their causes. From strategy to creative, we work to deliver solutions that are insightful, impactful and actionable, with data analytics driving everything we do. Learn how Candela can help your nonprofit today.