C h o i c e o f A S P S e r v i c e s o ve r A l t e rn a t i ve
M o d e l s , B u s i n e s s I s s u e s , a n d R e l a t e d R i s k s
Choice of ASP Services
The following issues will influence the choice of ASP services over alternative models,
such as collaborative multi-institutional infrastructures:
- Insufficient number of skilled IT personnel. Organisations, particularly smaller ones, are
unlikely to be in a position to afford the considerable expense associated with hiring,
training and retaining appropriately skilled IT personnel.
- Pace of the technology.The ASP model allows smaller organisations opportunities to
use applications that have previously been affordable only by larger organisations
supply chain management (SCM) and CRM technologies for instance.
- Quick implementation. Implementation time is significantly reduced.
- Increasing complexity of the technology. IT departments may tend to struggle with the
numerous changes and increasing complexity of technology needed to run their
- Obtain technical expertise. Many ASPs focus on a particular specialised business function
or application type.This focused approach is especially relevant for cultural heritage
institutions who are less likely to require general communication or administration
applications, but who need (for example) collection management tools. A list of such
specialised ASPs appears in the References section at the end of the Report.
Some of the business issues that may impact the acceptance of the ASP model include:
- Minimisation of TCO The ASP offers a different type of cost model, usually
based on a fixed fee depending on the functionality, server space, and/or bandwidth
used by the customer. It does not take highly developed economic skills to compare
the options: several hundred Euros for an annual subscription fee, against the costs
for hardware, software, and staff.
- Predictability of revenues The ASP model is predictable to a great extent
because of the payment model involved (i.e. monthly or yearly fees).The ASP's
customers are not burdened with estimating costs of implementation, nor should they
need to meet the post-implementation costs through increased access charges unless
these are clearly listed in the SLA or the organisation's needs deviate from the ASP.
- Focus on core competencies The transfer of the implementation and manage-
ment of an application to a third party enables the organisation to focus on its core
competencies, especially relevant in the cultural and scientific heritage sectors where
staff are often redeployed to cover technological tasks in addition to their original
field(s) of expertise.
- Improved efficiency of staff The elimination of application management gives
the internal IT staff the freedom to improve core competencies.
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