You have had it up to HERE with user complaints about remembering multiple logins and passwords. SSO software is one excellent tool to simplify life for your business users. However, you shouldn’t jump straight into implementation. Spending some time up front on research and planning will save you hours of frustration later.
Start With Why SSO Software Matters
Before you find out about the specific mistakes that hurt SSO software implementation projects, let’s take a step back for a moment. What value does SSO software bring to your organization? While every company has different goals, the benefits usually include:
- Increased Employee Productivity. About one-third of Americans find passwords tough to remember and manage, according to Pew Center research. It is no surprise that users reuse passwords and regularly need password resets. Assigning each user a single sign-on ID makes their lives easier.
- Optimized IT Productivity. Each manual password change and adjustment takes time and resources away from other IT projects. If you cut down time on this type of administration, you will have more time to pursue high value-added projects like releasing new apps.
- Simplified IT Control and Administration. Like death and taxes, IT audits are quickly becoming an inescapable fact of life in large organizations. We cannot eliminate audits, but we can make the process much more comfortable with SSO software. Your auditors will have easy to use reports and managers will spend less time on managing IDs.
Tip: Still working to win support from management for your SSO software? Start by focusing on the business benefits outlined above. Next, gain the support of key stakeholders, such as the procurement department.
Mistake 1: Failure to Consider Your Cybersecurity Strategy
No strategy, no success. That is the essence of this mistake. If you buy SSO software without thinking through your broader cybersecurity strategy, you are not going to make much progress. This error shows up in different ways. For example, IT may get excited about single sign-on software, propose it to management, and then lose to a competing priority. In other cases, your IT project load may not have capacity for another project.
How to Avoid the Strategy Mistake:
Review your cybersecurity strategy and annual goals for the year with your team. Ask yourself: “How will implementing SSO software contribute to our goals?”
Mistake 2: Failure to Understand Your Technical Requirements
In technology projects, knowing the details matter. What if you miss essential systems during the planning phase? Your single sign-on implementation will fail to deliver a seamless experience. Neglecting “shadow IT” systems and application — especially cloud services — is a particularly common failure. Further, take the time to consider the maturity of your other systems (like multi-factor authentication) as well.
How to Avoid the Technical Requirements Mistake:
There are two ways to approach this mistake. Option 1: launch an in-house review of your systems and capabilities to identify your needs and critical systems. Option 2: hire an outside consultant to provide advice on the technical requirements that matter in your world. Hiring a consultant makes sense if you have a large organization or if you have multiple other cybersecurity projects in progress.
Mistake 3: Neglecting Project Management Fundamentals
Implementing SSO software at your organization requires project management skills. If you go ahead with the implementation without a project manager to keep the ship on course, you are likely to encounter problems like delays and cost overruns. Beyond assigning a project manager, here are some of the other specific project failures to watch for:
- Poor business analysis. It is practically a guarantee — if you have inadequate requirements and business analysis at the start, your project will face problems like expensive last minute change requests.
- Skipping change management. Failing to explain the value of single sign-on software means you will encounter complaints and lower adoption.
- Monitoring and reporting. Your executives are too busy to become involved in all the details of your project. However, they do need to receive weekly or monthly reports on progress achieved and issues that require their involvement.
- Neglecting continuous improvement. A large percentage of IT projects fail to achieve their results. The Standish Group’s 2015 study found 19% of IT projects fail. To reduce this waste, make sure your project has a continuous improvement or lessons learned component.=
How to Avoid the Project Management Mistake
Start by appointing a project manager with the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Next, select an appropriate champion — a senior manager or executive — who will take ultimate responsibility for the project’s success.
Mistake 4: Buying SSO Software Without Using a Solid Process
SSO software is not like buying a wall calendar. You are buying a solution that will save time for your users every day and protect your company’s sensitive information. That is why we recommend developing a buying process. For example, look for vendors with industry experience because they are more likely to understand what you need. Internally, if you fail to follow company procurement processes, the entire process may be canceled or delayed at the last minute while you complete paperwork. Fortunately, it is easy to create and follow a buying process.
How to Avoid the Buying Process Mistake
To help companies avoid this mistake, check out our article “8 Questions to Answer Before You Buy SSO Software.” Here is the first question from the article: What were our cybersecurity results last year? Answering that question matters because it will reveal whether you are in crisis mode (e.g., responding to hacks) or whether you can take on new projects.
Avoiding Mistake Vs. Delivering Value to Your Users
SSO software projects that suffer from the mistakes outlined here will be over budget, delivered late, or worse. Study these mistakes carefully before you overhaul your single sign-on software system. Once you have these mistakes handled, you will be prepared to take the next step — evaluating solutions.
To guide you through the buying process, check out our resource library of white papers, buyer’s guides, and articles.