Among the related risks, the most pertinent will be:
- Reduced immediate control The ASP is running procedures for data protection,
system updates, hacker attacks, and upgrade. Its competence and quality of service
should be verified in advance of contract.
- Network dependence System performance will depend on network connectivity,
and this may raise concerns about privacy, reliability, interchange speed, as well as
ownership (another control issue).
- Security This is among the most important risks.The privacy of records should
be guaranteed, and data loss has to be prevented.The data backup services that the
ASP provides may seem a convenient solution, but nevertheless organisations should
take care to make copies of their data.
ASPs can provide the support infrastructure necessary to maintain 24x7 service
availability, and they ensure that software (especially operating system patches and virus
checkers) is up to date.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The ASP already has in-house all the experience and equipment
Costs for software licences are minimised, and ASPs will always offer
lower costs in comparison with the development of an in-house system.The need for
dedicated and expensive in-house IT staff may be minimised.
Staff time can be better used for the tasks and areas in which they are expert.
This is likely to lead to increased employee satisfaction.
ASPs should be able to guarantee their systems to be reliable twenty-
four hours per day, seven days per week. Should anything go wrong, organisations can
claim compensation under the service level agreements.
Without a stable and reliable Internet connection, ASP
solutions are unusable. It becomes harder for organisations to exercise control on software
malfunctions.There may also be security and broadcast issues, particularly with the
remote storage of personal and sensitive information.
Job losses are likely if other tasks are not available for staff previously deployed
on technical work.
Custody of content
There may be a perceived lack of control over ownership if
the software malfunctions, and the ASP takes time to solve the problem. Risks associated
with not having a verified copy of the data on-site need to be addressed in contracts
with the ASP.
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