Single-sign-on benefits for schools part 3: administrators

Single-sign-on benefits for schools
part 3: administrators

This is the final post in a three part series looking at the benefits of single-sign-on (SSO) for different user groups in schools and colleges. In the the first two posts we looked at SSO benefits for students and teachers.

Before we explore the benefits of single-sign-on (SSO) for system administrators in schools and colleges, let’s first consider what things might look like in the online resource age without SSO.

Most agree that the future of technology in schools will be heavily dependent on online or cloud based resources, in fact it’s hard to see many areas where this is not the direction of travel. So it’s important that we – the IT professionals and Network Managers – are not seen as the roadblock in this inevitable progression.

But it does present massive challenges and, potentially, a massive workload for IT departments that are already under pressure and are unlikely to receive the additional resources to cope with the extra workload.

To illustrate the challenge, let’s take the example of a school with 1000 pupils needing access to use just five online applications. The maths are simple: 5000 sets of login credentials to be created, recorded, updated, and – of course – retrieved every time someone forgets their password.

Single-sign-on can not only solve these problems, but can bring about many other efficiencies and benefits too. Here’s how (all examples based on the CSE Magellan SSO solution):

Virtually eliminate password related
support calls

This is the most obvious benefit that single-sign-on can deliver for system administrators: less passwords for users to remember means less to forget which, in turn, means less calls to the service desk. But with Magellan, we’ve gone even further as users don’t even need to login to their single-sign-on system. When a user accesses the school network with their Active Directory credentials, they are automatically logged in to Magellan too, and are therefore a single click or tap away from all their online resources without a login screen in sight. In addition, Magellan can log them in to their Home Directory and shared areas. So it really is just one set of credentials per user.

sso-user-mamangementAutomated user account generation

This is another area where Magellan goes beyond being simply a single-sign-on solution. By linking with the school’s MIS, Magellan can automatically publish users to Active Directory, and automatically create all of the online accounts they require. That’s a huge administrative burden removed and means that the school can scale-up its adoption of online resources easily, with minimal impact on the IT department.

Reduce the risk of compromised credentials

Compromised login credentials and weak passwords are a potential security and data privacy risk. Magellan allows schools to mitigate this by:

  • Removing the need for users to ever know their login credentials for everything except their main network access.
  • Giving the school control of password strengths.
  • Removing the need to use generic, whole school / whole year group / whole class credentials.

Far from being a roadblock, by implementing a ‘true’ single-sign-on system, school IT departments can not only ensure they are managing online resources in a professional and efficient way, but also become the catalysts for their adoption in the school.

 

This is our final post about the benefits of single-sign-on for different user groups in schools and colleges. If you would like to find out more, or have a free trial of Magellan, please get in touch.

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