Security Issues Dampen ASP Popularity

If it wasn’t for prevailing security concerns, Application Service Providers (ASPs), may be more popular according to recent research released today from BT Ignite, the broadband business of British Telecom (BT) Group.

A survey, conducted by research company NOP World on behalf of BT Ignite and based on 600 interviews with UK-based businesses found that ninety six percent of UK companies would consider using an ASP, which BT Ignite says provides proof that the ASP model is increasing in popularity.

But, although about a third of British businesses are outsourcing applications such as Web hosting (36 percent) and virusguard facilities (31 percent), the survey says both security and confidentiality are dampening the enthusiasm that companies have for outsourcing applications.

The figures are set to grow, with about two-thirds of organizations questioned regarding these applications looking to outsource them in the future (64 percent and 65 percent respectively). Yet, 50 percent of businesses had significant concerns about security, a figure that rose to 63 percent for the financial services sector.

“It is clear from these findings that ASPs still have a lot of work to do to combat the perception that outsourcing the hosting of business applications has a negative impact on security and control, says Jeremy Howard, head of Security and Messaging, eBusiness, BT Ignite.

“Many companies, although conscious of the generic benefits of ASP, are still unaware of the increased security that they can, in fact, benefit from,” he continues.

Touting BT Ignite’s provision of state-of-the-art technology including iris scanning, security zoning, firewalling, authentication and encryption features for its eBusines clients, Howards says customers can benefit from a greater level of security than they could afford to put in place themselves.

The survey results also confirmed that the next biggest concerns, reliability of service and cost, are no longer key deciding factors. Each was cited by only nine per cent of respondents as reasons for the businesses’ failure to adopt ASP solutions.

And with only four percent of those interviewed ruling out the possibility of using an ASP, BT Ignite says indicates that UK businesses are beginning to realize the potential benefits of outsourcing business applications.

Of the companies interviewed that stated that an ASP solution would be very or fairly useful, the highest proportion (21 percent) said they felt it would reduce workload, 17 percent thought it would be more cost efficient, and 14 per cent thought it would be easier to upgrade.

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