Have you ever thought about the number of times you use usernames and passwords for logging into different software applications or online accounts? Let me tell you the fact that an average individual has about 90 online accounts. Can’t even imagine the number, right! The reason is that login credentials are the least remembered thing in our minds when we want to use an app or account. As a result, you are locked out and require new passwords for logging.
To completely solve the problem of logging multiple times, why not a solution that allows us to use a single login credential on multiple software apps or online accounts? Won’t our lives become easier? Yes, this is where the Single-Sign-On concept comes in.
In this article, we will understand the benefits of integrating a Single Sign-On feature in an Enterprise learning management system. However, the feature is not restricted to particular software and can be used anywhere, but we will specifically talk about LMS.
How often do you need to provide access to various services such as the company’s network, webmail, cloud apps, and even the web application? Instead of requesting them each time, asking for central authentication for your identity and permitting you for every action seems a better option altogether. Both Single Sign-on and federated identity management work on the same concept.
Understanding the Process of Single Sign On
Single Sign-on is the permission granted to access multiple resources with just a single login operation. The user has to provide credentials to the Identity provider once, which when approved, gives the user access to various services without the need to provide a username and password each time when logging in.
The Identity Provider saves and manages the login details and each time you wish to log in to a service provider, the provider trusts the other provider (IP) to validate the credentials and send back the authorization token to always let you in.
Today’s advanced LMS is powered by the Single Sign-On (SSO) that can act as a Service Provider that supports different Identity Providers for the exchange of authorization data.
Popular SSO Methods
Since every organization prefers a different SSO method, the list will let you understand and better choose the type you want for your business.
Security Access Markup Language (SAML)
The most popular and widely used SSO is SAML-based SSO. This type eliminates the need for multiple login credentials as the authorization is centralized for the federated security domains. SAML 2.0, being the most common version in use, is the XML-based protocol that uses security tokens to pass on the information about the end-user.
SAML 2.0 also reduces the administrative authentication token by allowing cross-domain SSO seamlessly.
Another industry standard used as an authorization protocol, OAuth 2.0, provides authentication flow to the web apps for mobile devices, desktop apps, and other devices. An open standard authorization, OAuth 2.0 is an open standard for all, explaining the secure way to grant access to the corporate assets without the need for disclosing the initials.
Federated Identity Management (FIM)
This type of SSO is the arrangement between the corporations permitting their users to use the same credentials to access the services in the larger enterprise group. Federated Identity Management links user credentials to different security domains, each with a unique identity management system allowing Single sign-on.
LDAP is a cross-platform open protocol that is created to authenticate the directory service. These directory services are meant to save sensitive information, such as passwords, usernames, and computer accounts, and share the information with other systems in the same network.
There is an endless list of SSO types, such as OpenID Connect (OIDC) 1.0, which is used on top of the OAuth 2.0 protocol to verify the user identities, Active Directory through ADFS 2.0, OneLogin, Okta, Centrify, Feide OpenIdP, Open API, and more.
We now know the process and functioning of the Single Sign-on, let us move further with its benefits.
Benefits of SSO in an LMS
Talking about business productivity, even the slightest dip can negatively impact the business. In order to speed the productivity and business operations up and going, you must find new ways. One of the most effective ways is by integrating such tools that can streamline the processes. Let’s find out the advantages of integrating SSO with the LMS Solutions.
Quick Access to Software Ecosystem
A learning management system with a single sign-on feature gives complete accessibility to the software ecosystem just with a single username and password. With this kind of provisioning, you can spend more time analyzing the reports or reaching out to the customers and building a stronger relationship, or offering support to the subordinates in hitting their targets.
Improved Employee Satisfaction
Many today perceive LMS with SSO as a simple selling point but is it not worth it. Certainly, together LMS with SSO can make a big impact on the organizational processes and employee retention rates. The reason is, no more dealing with the login credentials regardless of your software infrastructure size.
This is the second most vital functionality of SSO. Most LMS integrated with SSO come with advanced level data security measures to protect your valuable data from breaches and hacks. However, there is always a risk attached to having only one username and password, which is why the terminated employees are immediately removed along with their credentials to avoid any trouble.
When the employees are free from the burden of remembering the credentials to log in to the ecosystem each time, they can focus more on reaching out for more content to fill their skill gap. From weekly skill stats, they can identify their personal gaps and find relevant training material on any device and anytime they want without any hassle.
If you want to integrate Single Sign-on or want an LMS with SSO feature, these are the few tips that you should follow.
How to Find A Perfect LMS with SSO Feature
Surely, managing a massive business requires a lot of things to think about before investing in an LMS with Single Sign-On. Here are a few questions you can ask but before that create your own set of questions, such as –
- Can users access the portal via app on different devices?
- Should your solution consist of strong/multi-factor authentication?
- What is the overall user experience in terms of login consistency?
- Do you need self-service registration and account management mechanisms?
- Can the SSO solution you choose to support hybrid deployments?
- Will the offering be on-premise or cloud?
- Will the SSO solution support substantial standards – SAML, OAuth & OpenID?
Apart from these questions, you can test the solution, read reviews, and more. Let’s briefly discuss more of it.
Evaluate Safety Protocol
Not every employee is granted permission to the entire ecosystem of the business. A few can be given view access, while others can be completely restricted, as per their roles and responsibility. Hence, ask your vendor if the SSO solution offered to you consists of a two-step verification or not?
Testing The SSO Features
Today’s SSO features are easy to integrate, allowing quick setup of user accounts and changing passwords. Ask which encryption protocols are in place? Which existing tools can be seamlessly integrated with the SSO software? Is there any recommendation from the LMS solution providers’ side? Are there any advanced support services provided to you for easy IT navigation?
An online directory is the best method to identify and gauge the data security and SSO functionality services of the vendor before making the final decisions. Check reviews properly – understand the difficulties faced by the customers as well as the satisfaction level.
In A Nutshell –
SSO is one of the most essential factors to choose in an LMS. This gives freedom from the multiple-time accessibility and the opportunity to manage other aspects of the business without the need to leave the platform. With a single set of credentials, get access to various applications & services in a corporate environment in the most reliable and secure way in a user-friendly manner.
Author’s Bio: Scarlett works with the editorial team of A3logics, a leading company offering learning management system solutions. Exploring the latest technologies, reading about them, and writing her views have always been her passion. She seeks new opportunities to express her opinions, explore technological advancements, and document the details. You can always find her enjoying books or articles about varied topics or jotting down her ideas in a notebook.