Four in 10 IT directors cannot list the main business benefits of using an application service provider (ASP), according to new research.
The survey adds weight to critics of ASPs who have warned IT managers that ignorance of ASP business benefits and ferocious competition in the market will mean that many ASPs will soon go to the wall.
But analysts have defended the role of ASPs and said it had concrete benefits for IT departments which were able to negotiate water-tight agreements with their suppliers.
The survey of 80 IT directors and managers - commissioned by ASP HOSTeu - also found user uncertainty on the crunch issue of service level agreements. Over half (56%) did not know what their key requirement would be.
The most popular service level agreement cited by IT managers surveyed was general standards (18%), followed by availability and response times (16%).
But Mat Hanrahan, analyst at Bloor Research, argued that the companies could get concrete benefits from ASPs.
He added, "The IT department will never be done away with. It will be there to monitor the level of service from the ASP."