Single sign-on has been a hot category within the identity and access management marketplace. Organizations have been attracted to the ease of use it provides for end users to connect to their applications. However, many of these solutions have been designed to supplement on-prem identity management platforms. Now that more and more of IT management tools are moving to the cloud, this on-prem approach has started to lose its effectiveness. The approach that many IT organizations are searching for now is a virtual single sign-on solution, and it is available as part of a cloud-based directory.
The Growth of SSO
The concept of SSO really started after the introduction of Microsoft Active Directory®. Back in the early 2000’s, IT admins were implementing Active Directory in droves. It made sense, because for the most part their IT infrastructure was Windows-based and on-prem. They had Microsoft computers, printers, and all sorts of other infrastructure. Why use anything other than Microsoft to manage Microsoft products? However, this exclusivity in the enterprise didn’t last long. We now see Macs and Linux systems in the business world, both gaining popularity at an incredible rate. Simultaneously, an even more disruptive transformation has been the move away from on-prem hardware and software. The emergence of cloud apps and infrastructure has created a huge new market for players like Amazon and Google. The impact is so comprehensive that nearly every major application and service is now offered through the cloud.
As these trends gained momentum, IT has had to weather the storm. Admins in conventional environments needed a way to manage access to the wide variety of web applications in use at their organization. In order to address this challenge, a wave of web application SSO providers emerged that worked in tandem with existing, on-prem identity providers. While addressing the immediate need, these solutions still came with difficulties of their own.
Challenges With Traditional SSO
There were a number of challenges to this first wave of SSO solutions. One was that many of them started on-prem and required additional hardware, software, and management on top (Read more...)