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Whether you call it Software as a Service (SaaS), Managed Service Provider (MSP) or On-Demand Services, your organization uses the service running “in the cloud”. This blog will discuss these services, their benefits, drawbacks and operations. Are we biased? Yes. We believe that some services make sense for most organizations. Email security is one of those. However as Mark Twain said, “All generalizations are false, even this one.” Each Tuesday we will post information and questions about Software as a Service. Occasionally, we will have a "Guest Post" from either a consultant or vendor posting her/his thoughts on Managed Services generally as well as some degree of specificity based on her/his unique perspective. We encourage your insights, comments and feedback. Welcome.

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Hosted Apps – Pros & Cons (Part 1 of 2)


Hosted applications first appeared in the marketplace several years ago. While the idea was sound, the concept didn’t take off — but it didn’t disappear, it merely waited for the time to be right. In the years since hosted applications were initially introduced there has been a measured and definite trend toward general acceptance of what we are now well familiar with as a hosted applications model.

One of the reasons why the growth of the hosted application model continues to expand is widespread, fast, and reliable Internet access. Additionally, businesses now have the availability of both client-side and server-side applications and there are compelling reasons for implementing some hosted applications in almost every environment.

Although hosted applications won’t satisfy every organizational need, or every customer, they offer considerable benefits over locally installed applications. Let’s take a look at the different types of hosted applications and the issues you should consider before adopting the hosted application model.

The Pros

  • No vendor installation or upgrades are required.
  • There are low start-up costs as well as a lower total cost of ownership.
  • For your company, there is minimal risk with no long-term commitment.
  • Proactive maintenance such as backups and virus protection are the responsibility of the vendor. Additionally, maintenance of both the server hardware and the server software is the vendor’s responsibility, relieving your IT department of this time-consuming burden.
  • You’ll experience a reduction in your investment in local hardware and software.
  • There is no need to synchronize data with multiple devices.
  • Your company’s access to data is available globally from any web browser, through any Internet connection, anywhere in the world.
  • With hosted applications the hardware and software is the responsibility of the vendor with the client only having to maintain access to the Internet.
  • As the application is hosted and provided by a vendor, the software licensing costs for you are reduced.
  • You benefit from frequent upgrades. Updates are made frequently and, for you, the customer, effortlessly.
  • Hosted applications are designed for scalability. If your company experiences a period of rapid growth, hosted applications will follow your expansion by scaling seamlessly, accommodating large numbers of simultaneous users.
  • Support is facilitated by your company no longer having to maintain multiple version numbers or individual maintenance and licensing agreements for your hardware and software.

In short, reduced costs, instant deployment, easier to maintain and reduced administration are among some of the main benefits of hosted applications. But before your company decides to select a hosted application, it’s important for you to have not only the benefits in hand, but also any potential concerns. In our next installment, we’ll take a look at the concerns and see how, if the hosted application model is used correctly, the benefits will outweigh the concerns.

Did we forget any Pros? Give us the benefits of your comments.

Next blog topic: Hosted Apps – Pros & Cons (Part 2 of 2)

Posted on : Aug 19 2008
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Posted under Desktop Apps, Managed Services, SaaS |


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