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How single sign-on (SSO) helps you save money and boost productivity

READ TIME: 5 MINUTES

Caitlin Brett

Caitlin Brett
Jun. 22, 2021

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Single sign-on (SSO) is a login system that allows users to use one set of login credentials across the workflow applications of an organization. Either the user will have one set of credentials that they enter repeatedly, or they’ll be logged in to all applications at one click.

Similarly, single logout (SLO) makes it possible for users to log out of a particular set of applications at the same time.

Think of the Google product suite. When you sign into Gmail, you automatically find yourself logged into Google Drive, YouTube, and Google Ads. When you log out of your Gmail account from any of these web apps, Google signs you out of your other related applications.

Why do I need single sign-on for my organization?

Enabling single sign-on for your organization will let your employees sign into all the apps they use during their workday in a fraction of the time it currently takes. With SSO, you can:

  • Lower companywide IT costs

  • Free up employee time and energy ⁠— no more forgotten passwords

  • Provide better security and compliance tracking

3 benefits of implementing single sign-on

Still not convinced? Let's take a closer look at each of these benefits and talk about how SSO can resolve key issues for your business.

1. SSO helps you reduce costs

A 2019 study found that 78% of participants had to reset their passwords for at least one personal account in the last 90 days, and 57% had to reset their passwords for at least one work account in the same time frame. The more tools an employee uses, the more usernames and passwords they have to keep track of — and the higher the chance of forgetting them.

Forgotten passwords can lead to a never-ending avalanche of tickets for your IT team, and it costs valuable time when employees are locked out of critical services. SSO can help save your IT support department time and money, as employees only have to remember a single username and password to access all business-critical applications. Most SSO solutions enable self-service password reset, freeing up your IT support staff to work on other, more critical, tasks.

SSO also makes it easy to provision and deprovision users. A robust SSO solution allows you to define access rights and security policies based on the user’s role (employee, client or customer, partner, etc.), location, and other traits. It lets you provision a single user across multiple tools and services in one click, instead of having to set up separate accounts for each business tool. De-provisioning happens just as quickly and easily.

2. SSO boosts employee productivity

The average employee juggles passwords across multiple software services. Users often underestimate just how many accounts they have. There is research that suggests the average business user has nearly 200 passwords. The same research found that the average 250-employee company has a whopping 47,750 passwords in use across the organization.

Every time an employee enters their username and password in a cloud-based business application, that’s lost time. Studies have found that most employees switch between various apps 10 times an hour. Doesn't sound like much? It’s about 32 lost days — more than a month — of productivity per year. 

The study also finds that employees use an average of four apps just for communication purposes, with 20% of them using six or more apps. Other reports show that the average worker toggles between 35 business services more than 1,100 times every single day.

Having to log in with different usernames and passwords again and again across numerous services takes its toll. It wastes time and energy and imposes a significant cognitive burden on employees, hindering their ability to focus on the work that actually matters.

3. SSO helps you maintain compliance

The data shows that usernames and passwords are an important target for hackers and cybercriminals. According to the Verizon 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, approximately 81% of confirmed data breaches were made possible by weak or stolen passwords.

It also doesn't help that 53% of people admit that they reuse a single password across multiple different accounts. This means that if a hacker is able to pick up the username and password of even one of your employees' accounts, it is likely that they will be able to access several others as well. Effective SSO implementation throughout your organization will reduce the number of attack surfaces, as employees would be able to enter their credentials only once per day.

SSO can also help your organization maintain compliance with a variety of regulations, like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or HIPAA, which require companies to document key IT controls and prove that they have implemented various methods to protect customer data and privacy, like tracking user access to customer records, or having an automatic sign-out function across applications. SSO helps you implement access controls and track each user’s access across your organization.

Bringing it all together

A good SSO solution will:

  • Save your company time and money

  • Boost employee productivity

  • Reduce the cognitive load resulting from having to remember dozens of usernames and passwords

  • Help you stay compliant with regulatory guidelines

And a great SSO solution will make it easy and work with all your critical software tools, like Calendly. An SSO solution saves you time and money every time you log in, making your organization more productive.

Calendly supports SSO from some of the best identity providers on the market, like Microsoft Azure, Okta, and OneLogin. Calendly also ships with built-in Zoom, Slack, and Zapier integrations, so it’s ready to use with the modern workstack.

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Caitlin Brett

Caitlin Brett

Caitlin Brett is a senior copywriter, content marketing professional, and Calendly alum. Learn more at caitlin.is.

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