Single sign-on authentication, or SSO, is becoming more commonplace as the digital revolution continues to evolve. With numerous benefits for customers and companies alike, SSO helps streamline user experience, aid movement between applications and services, and secure the transfer of pertinent information about customers between organizations.
Web SSO means that your customers have only one set of login details for all of your services and can switch seamlessly between applications. Mobile SSO allows your customers to switch seamlessly between mobile applications if you have more than one.
SSO also allows user access to multiple applications without the need for separate login accounts.Federated SSO uses a range of industry-standard protocols including SAML, JWT, OAuth, OpenID Connect, and more to allow the same seamless experience between service applications from a range of providers and sources.
Why is it time to use SSO as part of your customer authentication process? Here are three compelling reasons:
1. Customers Expect SSO
Today’s customers expect SSO. They might not be able to articulate this expectation in words, but as a matter of course, many customers already use single sign-on authentication in services every day. This means that the customer-facing features of SSO are now considered to be a minimum standard of customer convenience. Simply put, SSO is a service that most customers expect from every online company.
If you have more than one website or service that requires logging in, you need single sign-on if you don’t want to annoy your customers and appear behind the times. With single sign-on, you can eliminate several common roadblocks that can hurt your business.
For example, we heard from a consumer in the UK that there’s a customer experience disconnect between different divisions at Virgin. People getting cable TV and home broadband services from Virgin Media are encouraged to sign up for Virgin Mobile with several competitively priced offers. However, even though the sites look similar, consumers need to have two separate logins for the two Virgin services. They even have different rules for password strength.
I’m sure you can think of examples of your own, perhaps where (like with Virgin) you can’t even choose to use the same sign-in details if you want to. Maybe others require you to log in to different services from the same company repeatedly.
Don’t be one of these companies. You probably won’t end up with frustrated customers, since they’ll end up voting with their feet (and leaving you for another provider).
2. SSO Makes Companies Smarter
A unified customer profile is the first step to a smarter company. With CIAM, you’ll have a single location for everything about individual customers (including their login and service usage data).
What’s more, CIAM creates a unified customer profile on which to base all other metrics and predictions. Customer-specific data can be used in marketing, sales, customer support, content planning, product development, customer security, and more. Unified customer profiles are simply a brilliant resource for rich data, metrics, and analytics that multiple departments can use.
3. Single Sign-on Saves Money
By reducing the number of separate sign-in databases and systems you need to maintain and service, SSO reduces maintenance costs for every application or service that would previously have needed a separate login system.
A centralized identity solution also streamlines the creation of new apps and services by providing a “drop-in” solution for logging in, and for a multitude of useful data gathering methods. An effective enterprise SSO solution saves money in the long term and short term by making it easier than ever to collect customer data and user credentials in one secure spot.
So Why Do I Need SSO Authentication?
Single sign-on directly benefits your organization by gathering a wealth of customer data and credentials securely in one spot for your services, teams, and applications to use. Your customers will notice how your customer experience meets the expectations carved out by big names like Google and Microsoft, essentially showing them that you’re a modern, effective company.
Failing to use SSO authentication, or failing to use it correctly, will make your customers notice you in a bad way by frustrating them as they try to navigate your apps and services. By contrast, leaders who bring a SSO solution to their organization will stand out because of the multitude of benefits that single sign-on provides.
Originally published at Hackernoon