Sun | Oct 25, 2020 | 8:15 AM PDT

When you choose a single sign-on solution (SSO), you can input a single name and password to gain access to several applications. Rather than memorizing all types of different credentials to log into every app individually, you can log into your single sign-on provider and have instant access to all your applications. This sounds simple, right?

While the concept is simple, you have to find the right provider. What factors help set apart the best SSO providers from the others? Keep reading to learn what to look for when searching for the right SSO solution. By knowing what to look for and what to consider, you can find the provider that best suits your business's short- and long-term goals.

A customizable UX (user experience)

A quality SSO solution will not trap you in a box, where everything seems to be the same. Instead, it will allow administrators to customize the overall user experience. For example, the login page needs to be customizable to create different styles that will be consistent with your business or corporate branding.

It is not just the appearance that needs to be flexible; security is a top concern, too. You should make access conditional on several factors, such as IP address and group, and require more authentication factors when needed. There also needs to be an API that allows a completely customizable user experience with various app links based on the individual user. Put simply, you need to find a solution that offers customizable user experiences and a quality sign-on solution. If customization options are not provided, it is best to move on to another provider.

Access to an array of apps

One of the most significant issues with some legacy on-premise identity solutions is that they must have provision identity in a scattered manner. For example, one method is used for some things and another method for others. This results in incomplete or inconsistent access.

With a single sign-on solution, you do not have to worry about the same issues. You have a framework that lets people access just a few of the necessary applications, which leaves your business struggling to connect with some apps that are beyond the frame. Try to find an SSO provider that includes several thousand apps and provide the option for additional, custom integration. You can even compare the options, app by app, to find the one that is most suitable for your business needs.

Mobile interface option

Find an SSO provider that offers a clear and simple mobile interface. This is essential in today's world, where more than 87% of all employers are requesting that employees use their own devices to access business-specific apps. The experience users have on mobile devices should be the same (or even better) than the web-based experience. There should be no security issues or other problems that occur, either. Remember, the use of mobile devices in businesses is growing. If you choose an SSO provider that has no mobile interface, there is really no point in investing in it to begin with.

Secure authentication and directory

SSO solutions need to be secure. The encrypted user data needs to be completely inaccessible to outside forces. However, if you want to ensure SSO works effectively, you need to get information both out and in. Try to find a solution that provides integration for AD/LDAP, which will ensure that accessing all user data for authentication purposes is extremely fast. Remember, security is paramount to ensure you avoid any potential hacks or risks.

Scalability options and abilities

With the right SSO solution provider that is staying ahead of the changes in technology, you can feel confident that you will not fall behind when your organization begins to grow and pivot. The SSO provider you choose should be able to scale easily so your IT staff can easily take on new employees or deal with additional growth challenges.

As with many businesses increasing their IT spend, your organization must choose providers that can keep up. This is a factor you cannot afford to overlook.

Superior reliability

Try to find SSO options that have an uptime that is very close to 100%. This helps to ensure your team will be able to access their apps when they are needed. Tools should be available to monitor ongoing usage, including real-time security reporting. If you find this available, it is another indication that the SSO provider is a viable option.

An established reputation of innovative solutions and options

The SSO provider that you ultimately choose needs to be actively creating answers to some of the biggest challenges faced by businesses today. The tech field is extremely challenging, and mistakes may result in devastating hacks. It is important to trust the service providers that have the knowledge required to help keep modern businesses and organizations secure.

Additional considerations to keep in mind

When it is time for your business to choose a single sign-on provider, there is no question you have a lot of options. By considering the factors here, you will be on the right path to finding a quality service provider. Keep in mind, though, that you must find something that works for your business and your specifications. This is often harder than it seems. Along with using the tips and information above, it is a good idea to research some of the top options and see if some features or factors stand out.

While this may take an additional step and more time, it is something that is well worth it in the long run. Remember, when working with an outside vendor, your business is being exposed to a new level of risk. You need to be completely confident the provider you choose is reputable, trustworthy, and capable of protecting the ongoing security of your workers and your business.