Single sign-on spells savings
The challenge of managing secure access to diverse information
and applications scattered across a wide range of internal and external computing
systems coupled with managing multiple user identities has necessitated the
need for Identity Management (IM) solutions.
Organizations, which do not possess strict IM processes could find themselves
under attack from disgruntled ex-employees who could use their old passwords
to get into the company's IT systems. Additionally, due to the lack of single
sign-on solutions, the employee may even get access to confidential R&D
files stored on the network. In some cases, the lack of a single sign-on solution
for multiple IT systems in a company's IT architecture could prove to be its
For organizations having multiple IT systems, a single sign-on solution is necessary
as managing multiple versions of user identities across multiple applications
and computing systems makes the task daunting.
Explained Hatim Matiwala, National Manager, Strategic Solutions Group, Onward
Novell Software India, "Implementing a single sign-on solution gives enterprises
the ability to manage user rights more effectively as it is easier for users
to log in all applications using a single user-name and password. In the future,
most organizations will have an identity-based IT infrastructure which will
have applications which are aware of identity." To illustrate his point,
Matiwala gave the example of ex-employees who continue to use the IT system
even after they have resigned. During his employment, the ex-employee may have
been given user-names and passwords to different IT systems, and which in most
cases are not deleted. This creates a situation where ex-employees can penetrate
The benefits of IM
While the term IM is still not very common, many progressive organisations have
already implemented comprehensive IM solutions, or are in the midst of evaluating
IM tools as strategic tools. Another key driver for IM is savings in terms of
operational costs due to a spurt in efficiency levels in managing data. As IM
tools or single sign-on tools can be used to provide access to applications,
they save costs on management. Since a single sign-on solution enables access
to many applications across the network, it saves the time of both the user
and the administrator.
This translates into time savings that can be spent on managing user access
and cutting technical help-desk queries. But Matiwala had a word of advice for
those thinking of buying a single sign-on solution: "Before buying, organizations
have to ensure that an identity infrastructure based on open standards is enabled
across all the systems to be effective. A single sign-on solution has to tie
together authentication, directory services, provisioning, user and access management."
The track also showcased a live demonstration which explained the significance
of IM solutions.