Most discussions about SSO are put in terms of the user. It’s the user that wants it in these stories, the user that forces it to happen, and the user that benefits. That’s all true to some extent. But there is another clear beneficiary to SSO. That’s the business. The efficiency and security that can come from SSO are definite boons for the business. When the user can’t have SSO, the reasoning is typically that it’s too complex and too costly. If you talk SSO from the perspective of the organization, though, then that changes a bit. Nothing is too costly that saves more in return. Yes, OK, maybe there isn’t money in the budget right now for something, but that’s a finance question not a value question – we’re talking about value. If the value of efficiency, efficiency in getting users productive and spending less time proving compliance, is a good thing that saves money than the cost need only be less than the savings. But the objection that stands firm is the complexity. With more organizations taking on new, cloud based applications every day that complexity seems to be on the rise. But SSO should not be seen as something that adds to that complexity from the business’s point of view. It should be viewed as something that helps address that complexity. The business shouldn’t have to change its applications to enable secure access to the cloud, or change the kinds of apps it wants to support. It doesn’t have to change its Salesforce.com or Oracle apps, or require some new complex password or authentication scheme IT isn’t prepared or willing to support. To paraphrase an old expression about love: the business wants what the business wants. Having a simple, extensible, flexible SSO platform where you can plug in any kind of web fronted application regardless of the type of authentication should make things simpler. The business wants to start using Workday? No problem! Have a new Workday button appear in the portal for their organization and it’s ready to go to the users. Want to hook up an application that’s been around for years that doesn’t do federation? No problem! It supports filling in the username and password and storing the credentials securely on the server side. Want to make sure you don’t have to give out all your licenses for this cloud app to users who will never touch it? A good SSO solution should have that covered, too, using just in time provisioning. The SSO platform should be a reason to embrace the new applications the business wants.