Cheap SSO

By Ryan Squires Posted November 14, 2018

Inexpensive SSO (abstract image)

With some single sign-on (SSO) solutions approaching $25 per user, per month, it is no wonder that many IT organizations are looking for a cheap SSO solution. And while it may seem counterintuitive, the rapidly changing IT landscape is actually working in favor of IT organizations when it comes to IT management tools. So, there is no reason that IT admins need to shell out big bucks for high-quality identity management solutions. The currency involved in this transaction is simply knowledge—knowing where to look and how to approach the problem can alleviate any reason to spend big.

Expensive SSO Layering

SSO Login Screen

Generally, when IT admins think of implementing web application single sign-on, the solutions they typically settle on involve layering the SSO solution on top an existing identity provider (IdP). The legacy IdP used most often is Microsoft® Active Directory® (MAD or AD), which is no surprise as it is the commercial leader. The goal here is that a centralized identity from AD will be federated to the web app SSO platform and then on to web applications like Salesforce®,  GitHub™ or Slack.

The trouble with the layered on approach is that it often leads to other solutions getting piled on top of Active Directory as well. For example, web applications are not the only relatively new resources to enter IT environments. So, IT admins need to leverage multiple add-on solutions like identity bridges, so they can connect Mac® and Linux® machines to AD. Then, if the sysadmin wants to bolster security, they will need an add-on for multi-factor authentication (MFA) tools, another for privileged identity management, and one more still for event logging. These are just a few examples, but you can see where this is going.

What results is not only a stacking of solutions on to AD, but a stacking of costs as well. There’s the initial cost of client access licenses (CALs), and then the cost of every add-on. Because there is also a great deal of integration work involved with this setup, there are professional services costs too. Plus, like most IT resources, ongoing maintenance is a requirement. That’s another cost. Stop me if I sound like a broken record. In short, when all these considerations come into view, the ROI of this Active Directory-centric approach starts to look unappealing.

Cheap SSO Doesn’t Always Mean Bad SSO

Cheap is not equal to bad SSO

Truthfully, the answer with regard to finding a cheap SSO solution may be different than you imagine at first glance. That answer is taking a different approach altogether to the overall identity and access management infrastructure within your organization. When you leverage a neutral cloud identity management platform that combines centralized user management, True Single Sign-On™, cloud LDAP, RADIUS-as-a-Service, system and user management, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and more, IT organizations get one cost-effective solution. That solution is JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®.

So, while SSO solutions can cost upwards of $25 per person, per month it is certainly worth giving JumpCloud’s pricing structure a look as well. You’ll find that JumpCloud is an inexpensive, comprehensive solution that can save you some money as compared to the AD and SSO add-on approach. For a low annual or monthly price you can replace Active Directory and the add-ons you utilize daily. Directory-as-a-Service becomes your identity provider, thus replacing Active Directory. The JumpCloud SAML and LDAP protocol connectors enable access to your web and on-prem applications, and MFA can be enabled without the need to layer anything else on. Plus, with features like event logging, multi-platform GPO-like Policies, and RADIUS support, you’ll save money and bolster security.

Learn More About JumpCloud

True Single Sign On

All in all, a cheap SSO solution doesn’t have to be a bad thing, you may just need to take a different approach overall with a cloud-based directory. Sign up for a free JumpCloud account, and you’ll enable cloud management for up to 10 users at no charge, forever. Additionally, drop us a line or visit our YouTube channel to learn more.

Ryan Squires

Ryan Squires is a content writer at JumpCloud, a company dedicated to connecting users to the IT resources they need securely and efficiently. He has a degree in Journalism and Media Communication from Colorado State University.

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