Indiana Single Sign-On Portal Clears Adoption Milestone

Access Indiana has seen appreciable growth in 2021. Now about 400,000 users look to the portal to connect to a variety of government services via a secure system that only requires one set of login credentials.

A person using a laptop and their cellphone at the same time.
Access Indiana, a single sign-on portal featuring 34 government services, has seen its users double in three months.  

Developed through a partnership between the Indiana Office of Technology (IOT) and NIC Indiana, the project represents the vision of Gov. Eric J. Holcomb, who charged IOT to find a way for citizens to access a slew of state government applications.

“My administration is focused on providing great government service to Hoosiers, and one of the ways we’re doing that is through Access Indiana,” Holcomb told Government Technology

A work in progress since early 2019, the portal helped Indiana take the top spot in the Center for Digital Government's* 2019 Government Experience awards. In October 2020, it surpassed 125,000 users, a number that has since tripled.

Access Indiana’s capability has dramatically increased since its initial release in March 2019, when it only offered one government application. It now connects users with 34 services, including a vaccination portal, licensing for hunting and fishing and a job seeker portal.

In addition to streamlining user access, Access Indiana makes digital government more secure for citizens, said Graig Lubsen, IOT communications director. Prior to Access Indiana, there was a wide variety of password requirements across government services, with inconsistent levels of complexity. For example, some systems never required password resets or case sensitivity. Passwords for Access Indiana, however, always require an uppercase letter, lowercase letter, special character and number. Additionally, the portal comes with several protections to deflect brute-force attempts to access government systems.

Access Indiana has also demonstrably simplified digital government for users. IOT has been monitoring and reporting statistics on ease of usage. 

“Over the life of Access Indiana, we’re at 0.25 percent of customers contacting support for their login information or account help, and that’s something that we really are focused on,” Lubsen stated. 

That extremely low percentage of customer issues aligns with the intentions of the Holcomb administration. Holcomb added that he’s “proud of the way Access Indiana is transforming Hoosiers’ experiences.”

There was once skepticism about the capabilities of Access Indiana, which showed in the initial adoption rate. The portal only had about 20,000 users in July 2020. Lubsen said the tables turned after the launch of the hunting and fishing licensing application with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Usage would increase dramatically, and the system demonstrated its ability to handle extra traffic, clearing up lingering skepticism. 

Though launched during 2019, Access Indiana was in the works for years prior. According to Lubsen, Holcomb wanted to create a method for customers to interact with state government in “a sort of a single doorway.” To achieve this, IOT worked with different agencies and completed various studies in order to take both agencies’ and users’ needs into account and to ensure the system would be easy to use. 

Because the goal is to link every state government application to a single portal, the state will continue to add services to Access Indiana, with 13 services currently in transition. IOT is working with various additional agencies, so Access Indiana users can expect to see a professional licensing service and the state’s library system, INSPIRE, in the future.

There is also potential for Access Indiana to integrate with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, a step that would significantly expand how Indiana utilizes data to help citizens. For example, the state could potentially connect those who recently lost a job to health programs they qualify for based on tax data. The ultimate goal, Lubsen said, is to make dealing with “the labyrinth of government” a thing of the past in Indiana. 

*The Center for Digital Government is part of e.Republic, Government Technology’s parent company.

Julia Edinger is a staff writer for Government Technology. She has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Toledo and has since worked in publishing and media. She's currently located in Southern California.
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