Businesses can have their network security hosted and managed remotely using a new service from Network Associates (NAI).
The company's myCIO.com service offers an application service provider (ASP) 'infrastructure' which allows partners such as ISPs, telecoms providers and even computer resellers to host NAI's products and services online.
Zach Nelson, chief executive of NAI's myCIO.com division, said the company is in discussions with possible UK partners, including a large telco and ISP Star Internet, over possible hosting deals. NAI currently offers similar services in the US through ISP Exodus.
Nelson said the ASP model enables services to be delivered in seconds rather than the months it would take them to be deployed internally, and removes the burden and cost of managing the software.
"There is a huge shortage of IT people to manage applications today. Companies are looking to outsource functions, such as antivirus, that are non-mission critical," he said.
"We're internet enabling our enterprise applications. We've had a fair bit of experience in providing consumer products over the internet with mcafee.com. This was launched 18 months ago and is enormously successful."
Nelson said the service will initially offer three of NAI's products over the web - antivirus, firewall and virtual private network (VPN) - with others following throughout the year.
According to a recent survey conducted by researcher Ovum, two thirds of companies in the UK and Germany expect to buy application services using an ASP model over the next 18 months.
The survey revealed that the industry sectors most attracted to the ASP model in Western Europe are banking and financial services, transport and utilities, and travel and tourism.
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