Questions to ask an ASP

Considering using an ASP? Here are some questions to put to potential suppliers.

Considering using an ASP? Here are some questions to put to potential suppliers.

  • What is the size and scale of your ASP?

  • What is your business backing, who owns you, what is your business heritage?

  • Can you meet the core service level requirements of performance, security, scalability and recoverability?

  • How do I know you’ll be there in five years’ time? How stable is your business?

  • Do you have strong process-driven business systems to support me?

  • Is the system management proactive or reactive?

  • What is the quality of your staff? What are their data centre skills?

  • What are you committing to deliver? What are my service level agreements?

  • What is the scope of the solution? Don’t tell me about renting Word or Exchange, tell me how I can focus on my business instead of worrying about IT.

  • Give me some concept as to where I can take my business in the next six months through using your service.

  • How will you ensure security of data?

  • How much experience do you have with internet application (those that run in the browser) architectures?

  • What are your relationships with network service providers and ISVs?

  • How painless is it to come on board?

  • How easily can the hosted application be integrated into my existing IT infrastructure?

  • How flexible are the service options — that is, can they change as your business grows?

  • If I want to leave do you have a clearly defined process to make it as easy as possible?

  • You should invest in scoping your requirements properly before you make a decision, or even go too far down the track of assessing various providers. It’s important that you understand the key drivers for your own decision making process and can articulate these to potential providers.

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