What You Should and

By Deborah Gage  |  Posted 2002-10-11 Print this article Print

The days of the application service provider may have come and gone. But standardized services on the Web are gaining customers, who want low-cost means of handling systems like customer relations. Should your company be next?

Should NOT Do: Using Hosted Software">

What You Should Do

  • Research before you decide. Understand your needs and study vendors, providers and technologies before you make a decision

  • Make it your own. Think through and negotiate your own Service Level Agreements; don't adopt someone else's

  • Start small. Don't outsource everything all at once

  • Take control. Own your key hardware and software

  • Be proactive. Back up and protect your data

    What You Should NOT Do

  • Don't assume too much. Build relationships inside your providers so you can monitor their financial health

  • Don't outsource without a contingency plan. Make one for each provider in case any run into trouble or go out of business

  • Don't ignore the technology. Some Web standards are still in flux or not established

  • Don't risk the family jewels. Processes that are critical to your company are still safer inside your firewall

  • Don't forget security. Make sure the provider's managers follow industry best-practices and an ongoing secure model

  • Don't scrimp. Think through how to deploy your technology assets. For example, if you're saving money on software, build up your network infrastructure

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    Senior Writer
    Based in Silicon Valley, Debbie was a founding member of Ziff Davis Media's Sm@rt Partner, where she developed investigative projects and wrote a column on start-ups. She has covered the high-tech industry since 1994 and has also worked for Minnesota Public Radio, covering state politics. She has written freelance op-ed pieces on public education for the San Jose Mercury News, and has also won several national awards for her work co-producing a documentary. She has a B.A. from Minnesota State University.


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