Gartner Research

Decision Point for Reduced Sign-On

Published: 09 July 2012

ID: G00235088

Analyst(s): Ian Glazer, Gerry Gebel, Mark Diodati


Users complain, rightly, that they are faced with too many sign-on challenges as they go about their daily work routines. Architects attempting to address this problem may feel a little like the Greek mythological character Sisyphus. To help organizations get rolling in the right direction, this "Reduced Sign-On" Decision Point provides guidance for how to implement the many alternatives available to simplify the user environment. *The secondary authors listed above have been included for attribution purposes only. They were the original authors of this content, but were not involved in the latest update. As they are no longer employed at Gartner, please contact the lead author if you have questions.

Table Of Contents

Decision Point

Typical Requirements

  • Convenience vs. Risk Aggregation: Simplified, Reduced, or Single Sign-On
  • Managing Authentication Across Identity and Policy Domains
  • Increase Productivity
  • Reduce IT Costs
  • Develop RSO Strategy for All Constituencies
  • Provide Integration Point for Stronger Authentication
  • Enable Policy-Based Authentication


  • Password Management
  • E-SSO
  • Web SSO
  • Federation
  • Central LDAP Authentication
  • Extending NOS Login

Future Developments

  • Expanded Use of Federation
  • GINA Module Goes Away in Windows Vista
  • Broader Adoption of Web Services Applications

Evaluation Criteria

Statement & Basis for Position

  • Policy Considerations Position
    • Implement RSO.
    • Don't utilize RSO techniques.
  • Password Management Position
    • Consider password-management tools as a tactical step.
    • Do not reduce sign-on or use password management.
    • Seek to leverage RSO approaches.
  • RSO for Heterogeneous Applications Position
    • Use WAM solutions.
    • Use WAM or centralized LDAP authentication service.
    • Use E-SSO or centralized LDAP authentication service.
  • Extending Network Domain Login Position
    • Use the NOS authentication and session mechanisms for RSO.
    • Do not use the NOS directory for RSO.
  • Federation Protocols Position
    • Use federation.
    • Use any mechanisms that are suitable to the domain.

Relationship to Other Components

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