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ASP awareness up but adoption slow

Emma Nash
Users are becoming increasingly aware of the Application Service Provider (ASP) model although adoption rates remain low.

Research by analysts Frost & Sullivan found 74% of companies are now aware of the ASP business model and had a good understanding of the elements it involves.

However Frost & Sullivan research manager John Gilsenan said only 10% of those questioned were actually using an ASP.

In terms of vendor perception, Oracle came out on top, with 13% of respondents citing the software company as the most recognised ASP. IBM Global Services came a close second at 12.5%, followed by Microsoft at 5.5%.

Gilsenan does not believe this reflects actual usage. "It is interesting that Oracle was mentioned," he said, "but I think that was more of a generic response. 'I have heard Oracle is doing this,' rather than, 'they have been to talk to us'. People weren't too clear on the pure players."

Frost & Sullivan questioned 150 business managers, predominantly IT managers, from companies with staff of up to 250 in vertical sectors across Europe.

They discovered that 23% of those surveyed planned to adopt an ASP model over the next two years. "Twenty three percent potential uptake seemed really high," Gilsenan said. "As is often the case [in the IT sector], you get the hype, then the low uptake and people write it all off. But there are enough people thinking about it [ASP adoption] that it is a realistic possibility."

Robert Kelly, business development manager at industry body the XSP Community, also thought that the ASP movement is growing.

"ASP was developed to solve a problem that never really occurred," Kelly explained. "It was aimed very much at the SME at first, with the intention that they would use it [ASP] to migrate. That never really happened. There's now much more attention on the larger enterprises where ASP can be deployed to solve a particular problem. As it moved into the enterprise, it will probably start to trickle down [to smaller companies]."

Gilsenan thinks ASP providers have a long way to go. "People are still interested, but they just haven't been offered anything that has convinced them yet," he said.

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