Five Considerations For Selecting An Application Hosting Provider




Jeff Nixon

Outsourcing IT is on the rise. As noted by a recent SC Magazine article reporting on a new computer economics study, outsourcing is one way for companies to “augment in-house capabilities without making long-term commitments or large capital investments.” The biggest growth area? SaaS in the form of application hosting: 65 percent of organizations now outsource at least some of their application hosting to third-party providers. Though not all vendors live up to expectations, here are five things you absolutely need to consider when choosing a hosting provider:


When it comes to finding ideal managed application hosting, businesses need to consider the ability of their provider to diversify. With most companies running a range of apps — from ecommerce suites to marketing and customer service software — it's critical to find a provider that not only hosts multiple application types but offers full-fledged support for anything from in-house migrations of legacy software to the integration of new apps.


In order to improve the user experience — for both customers and employees — it's critical to partner with an application hosting provider that offers agile response to company needs. This could include quick installation and synchronization of new apps with existing software suites or the ability to adjust resources on demand to meet peak loads, for example during an ecommerce sale or in times of significant corporate growth. Just as end users expect agility and responsiveness from their app of choice, so too should companies expect their app hosting vendor to not simply meet but exceed these expectations.


To find the best application hosting services, companies should seek providers willing to collaborate on the process rather than simply supply a viable hosting environment. Why? Because space to host apps is only the beginning — every company has their set of business requirements, which in turn impact application choice across server stacks. A managed hosting partnership should begin with a collaborative process in which providers go in-depth to discover the ideal balance of resource allocation and application accessibility to drive corporate ROI.


Next on the list of must-haves for application server hosting? Customization. In large part, this need is driven by the increasing number of mobile devices users — for example, employees leveraging their smartphones and tablets to access work documents, and consumers using mobile technology for product research and to complete purchases. As a result, it's critical to find a managed application hosting provider that supports both Web and mobile apps with equal facility.


It's also important to consider the cost of application hosting. Look for a provider that offers predictable, fixed monthly pricing rather than one that assures a fair price for all apps used; better to know the cost up front, instead of being surprised by a massive bill at the end of the first month. Just as apps should be predictable in performance and response, application hosting costs should be fixed values in company IT budgets.

If you're considering a move to managed application hosting, make sure your provider offers the five essential features: diversity, agility, collaboration, customization and predictability.

Ready to leverage the power of cloud app hosting? Contact Highland Solutions today and discover the difference.