Single source of truth

Single Source of Truth (SSOT)

In today’s data-driven world, precise and efficient information management is of paramount importance. This is especially true for Identity & Access Management (IAM). For an IAM solution to be truly effective, it is essential that it operates with accurate and up-to-date data. Inaccurate or outdated information can lead to security risks, compliance issues, as well as delays and errors in user and access management. By using a singular truth for all identity data, you ensure that all your decisions are based on the same reliable and current information.

What is a Single Source of Truth?

A Single Source of Truth (SSOT) refers to a centralised and trustworthy data source that maintains consistent, accurate and current information, which is vital for streamlining user and authorisation management processes in IAM. The term ‘Single Source of Truth’ points to the importance of one central, reliable source for data management in business processes. Within our Identity & Access Management context, we will therefore adopt the following definition: “A Single Source of Truth (SSOT), also known as core registration system, refers to a centralized and trustworthy data source where data and documents are recorded once, ensuring they are consistent, precise and up-to-date for reuse in business processes through specific systems.”


SSOT is crucial for the efficient management of identities, users and permissions. Imagine an organisation with numerous systems and applications, each having its own identity data. This can easily lead to conflicting information about users. For instance, an employee’s role might be updated in one system but not in another, leading to confusion and potential risks. A user might, for example, gain access to sensitive data they shouldn’t have. Or a legitimate user might be denied access to important applications.

By implementing SSOT, an organisation ensures that all pertinent identity data is available in a single, accurate and updated source system. This means the IAM solution always has a consistent view of users, roles and permissions. If something changes in the Single Source of Truth (SSOT), the IAM software synchronises that change to other applications. And what if a data point is incorrect somewhere? You will know you only need to adjust it in the designated SSOT. This approach reduces the risk of errors, simplifies access management and enhances security.

Although “implementation” might sound daunting, most organisations already have an SSOT in the form of their HR system. HR systems contain vital information about employees and their positions, making them a logical choice as a source system. It is also essential to enter or update employee details correctly and on time because salaries depend on it. Delayed entry means no pay, and not removing after departure leads to undue salary payments. This means that usually, there is no need to change the HR department’s way of working. The HR system just needs to be formally recognised as the single source of truth.

Multiple sources of truth

The term ‘Single Source of Truth’ suggests there is only one central truth source. However, in practice, organisations might have multiple SSOTs for their Identity & Access Management. This is because different user groups are often managed in separate core registration systems. Each core registration system then acts as an SSOT for that specific group.

Consider, for instance, an educational institution. Alongside the HR system, which holds the identity details of employees, there is also a Student Information System (SIS) responsible for managing student data. These two systems are separate Single Sources of Truth (SSOT) for their respective user groups. Both are crucial for effective Identity and Access Management (IAM) within the institution.

In healthcare settings, we observe a similar scenario. Here, in addition to the HR system for staff, a scheduling package is employed to manage the relationship between caregivers and clients. Both of these core registration systems function as individual SSOTs with their distinct responsibilities.

In such situations, it is vital to ensure that you effectively integrate the different core registration systems within your IAM solution. This ensures all users are correctly authenticated and authorised based on the most recent and reliable information.

Single Source of Truth in HelloID

HelloID is a robust IAM solution that integrates with virtually every Single Source of Truth. This simplifies access management and streamlines the authentication and authorisation of users. Boasting a library of 200+ connectors, HelloID supports a wide range of core registration systems. This includes HRM, SIS and scheduling systems, as well as bespoke applications with an API or SQL interface.

By using the connectors, HelloID ensures seamless synchronisation of digital identities. Discover how you can enhance your IAM processes with HelloID’s flexibility and extensive connector library. Request a demo today or explore our website!