Less than a quarter of companies not yet using application service providers (ASPs) have plans to adopt the model in the next two years despite growing awareness, according to a recent survey by Frost & Sullivan.
In a sample of 150 companies, a massive 67 per cent said they had no plans to use ASPs although 74 per cent of the surveyed group had a good understanding of what the service means.
Frost & Sullivan said the telecoms slowdown has quashed fast growth rates, and user apprehensions concerning performance, security and support have contributed to the slow adoption of the application delivery model.
Peter Gee, director of strategic alliances at ASP Passporte, explained that current market conditions made growth very challenging. "As a result of the telecoms slowdown and the death of the dotcoms people are delaying investments," he said.
Clive Longbottom, an analyst at Quorcirca, believes that ASPs are tarnished with the same brush as dotcoms. "The first generation of ASPs grew up a bit later than dotcoms, which then collapsed, and people did not believe that they could do what they claimed," he said.
Figures from a separate report commissioned by BT Ignite, the telco's ASP arm, reveal that, in the business services sector, 72 per cent of companies are aware of the model and what it offers but only seven per cent of these companies are using it.
Gee pointed out that there is still misunderstanding, and that a differentiation must be made between outsourcing IT and ASPs. "We are an ASP but we will carry out outsourced services and support as well. It is not just an application sitting in a data centre," he said. "The only projects that are going on are those that can show customer savings."
He added that there are certain hosted applications that lend themselves to successful take-up in the current climate. These include collaborative applications that allow companies to access shared information, and employee portals which can both make human resources savings.
"There is nothing wrong with the idea of hosting IT but we must look at how to deliver real functionality for a particular business issue," said Longbottom.
Yeah, sorry about all that, simpers Zuckerberg
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