Evaluating SSO solutions? Be sure to ask the right questions

David Ting
Feb 03, 2012

The right single sign-on (SSO) solution can resolve your password management issues by enabling users to sign in only once to the network and have access to all the applications they are authorized to access—eliminating password headaches and enabling productivity. However, some SSO solutions raise as many issues as they promise to solve—the cost of purchase can be quite high, and the complexity of implementation and management can overwhelm IT departments.

As you start your SSO vendor evaluation process, it’s important to know what questions to ask to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the complete solution including product features and functionality, implementation and deployment, and ongoing management.

Sample questions across important categories include:

  • Application Support: Does the product require you to write scripts, create and support custom bridges, use proprietary APIs or change the way the application works? If so, how will you plan to maintain and test have the bridges, and what is the cost?
  • Integration with Existing Infrastructure: Does the solution require any permanent extensions or modifications to your directory schema? Does the solution require additional software or hardware in order to provide reporting capabilities and appropriate redundancy in the report database?
  • Ongoing Management Support: What encryption technology is used to secure the credentials?
  • User Workflow: Do users roam from workstation to workstation in their workflow? Does the product support saving and restoring the desktop state as the user roams?

If you’re looking for an SSO solution, and want to know what questions to ask prospective vendors and what criteria to judge solutions on, download our free Evaluation Tool for SSO Vendor Selection.