Top 4 Challenges Of Application Hosting
In the last few years, a new technology benchmark has emerged and businesses are moving ahead to operate from the Cloud. Application hosting, also known as software-as-a-service, is a growth area where enterprise decision makers see their businesses heading in the near future. With simplified user accessibility, sufficient virtual storage spaces, access from anywhere at any time along with cost efficiency and easy scalability makes SaaS the most desired for businesses of all types.
With the growing adoption rate, no wonder the predicted market growth for application hosting is 20.1% in 2016. For more specific numbers - statistics show the market to be worth US $116.39 Billion by 2018. Looking at these numbers the market will be getting the focus it deserves for sure. The non-risk takers - small & medium businesses (SMBs) are also moving towards cloud which earlier was defined as ‘for bigger players of the industry’. And as result the research firms are increasing their predicted count of the market worth for application hosting.
Now while the above sounds fascinating and shows application hosting to be moving in the right direction, as any new technology would, this also has uneven folds that are still to be ironed. Few challenges that turn towards becoming critical are -
1. Picking the ‘One’ from the ocean
With the available plethora of options choosing the ‘right’ application hosting solution and provider isn’t an easy task. While there many lucky ones who get the best match in terms of requirement and solution, there are also many who end up selecting an unfit one. Sorting a stale relationship with your provider is a daunting task. To avoid this, companies should narrow down their requirements and evaluate application hosting services with this checklist, literally.
2. The gap between expectations and actual post-sales service
In the interest of both - the application hosting provider and the customer, the expected services and offerings should be laid down. For instance, while the provider is taking backup to avoid downtime during a disaster, the problem may occur when the opinion differs regarding ‘items for backup’. Should the backup be taken for only databases or even files, images and user information? What should be the backup frequency and the format – all of this are often missed during initial discussions and later becomes a concern for both parties.
3. Handing over the control
Passing on the partial control of your business to a SaaS provider isn’t easy. It is not because of any security reasons but should we say ‘human behaviour’? While there are many providers who give confidence that they can be trusted with critical data, there is always initial reluctance. This has faded enough in the last few years however still a long way to go.
4. Challenges with a successful integration
This is very essential and should be discussed during the initial evaluation phase – does the cloud-based application integrate with existing systems and the infrastructure? Unfortunately many businesses focus on other points - price, available features and Value Add services more than this one. As a pillar to a successful implemented cloud-based application, this still needs more focus during the initial evaluation.
The way ahead…
In spite of the above mentioned challenges, application hosting market or SaaS which is even referred to web-based and cloud-based applications often, has a huge potential as a leading technology. The ability to focus on core business without worrying about the supporting software, scalability options, disaster recovery etc. are enough reasons for businesses to adopt application hosting services and slowly work on the challenges and in ironing them along with the provider.
[The author is a technology and marketing enthusiast with over eight years of experience in this space.]
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