What You Should and

By Deborah Gage 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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    This article was originally published on 2002-10-11
    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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