Concepts and Dynamics of the Application Service Provider Industry

Concepts and Dynamics of the Application Service Provider Industry

Dohoon Kim (Kyung Hee University, Korea)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-967-5.ch004
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The enterprise intelligence through e-transformation is one of the cornerstones of the next-generation e-business era where the Internet constitutes the core business resource. Furthermore, the severe competitive landscape of e-business makes firms focus on their core capability and farm out staffing functions such as IT. Under this circumstance, enhancing intelligence and synergy through e-transformation will be accomplished by IT outsourcing via ASPs (application service providers). The ASP industry now provides an essential infrastructure for the Internet-based e-business transactions, thereby accelerating corporate e-transformation. An ASP is generally defined as a third-party service firm that deploys, manages, and/or remotely hosts a software application through centrally located servers in a lease agreement. ASPs started their business by providing online application programs such as ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) solution packages to corporate customers. The first customers were small companies or local branches of multinational companies where IT outsourcing was the only option to deploy IT resources due to financial or regional constraints. As seen in these cases, the biggest merit of employing ASPs is that corporate customers do not have to own the applications and take responsibilities associated with initial and ongoing support and maintenance. Consequently, ASPs are differentiated from the existing IT services in that ASPs provide IT resources to multiple corporate clients on a oneto- many basis with a standardized service architecture and pricing scheme.

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