My first introduction to Office 365 came while I was researching the best way to provide my college bound daughter with Microsoft Office tools for her fancy new touchscreen laptop (big thanks to Gramma here!). The concept of having everything online instead of cluttering up her hard drive was a welcomed idea over the traditional operating system loaded Office suite. But when she got to the part about having to create and enter a new password, the honeymoon was over. She said, “Dad, how many passwords am I gonna have to have in my lifetime?! Why can’t I just get into the darn system and start working?” Sheepishly I explained how her files are now stored in a location not protected by her physical computer and if they weren’t password protected; anyone could gain access to them. I took this opportunity in my daughter’s life to also introduce her to the benefits of single sign on for Office 365 and other secured applications.
This uncomfortable feeling/experience she just had the pleasure of enduring is far too common these days, especially once you get to the work force and “real life”. Imagine a company of hundreds or even thousands of people that have access to Office 365 and each person has their own password to create, manage and protect. The odds of end-users forgetting their passwords and of course all at the same time, usually first thing Monday morning, are very high and keeps many IT professionals awake at night or at a minimum from enjoying their morning coffee. If the password is not forgotten, the users still have to go through the manual process of entering their credentials to get in. This comes after logging into Windows and possibly their VPN and who knows what other places that require protected access. You might already be aware by now in this article that I am heading toward the benefits of single sign on for Office 365.
“Well then coach, what are the benefits of single sign on for Office 365?” you might ask. For the end user, the SSO experience is like getting all green lights the entire ride to work. SSO to Office 365 benefits the end user as well as your IT team. User’s no longer forget passwords and have a much more streamlined authentication process every morning and the IT team will be freed up to work on more pressing issues/projects than password changes all morning. Production increases for the company as well as for the IT team itself and employee morale should also see an improvement.