By Arpit GautamApr 2021
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What is an Application Service Provider?

Traditional IT infrastructure requires a lot of capital & skilled personnel to maintain it. This does burden small & large-scale enterprises in terms of investments & rigid computing solutions. This is where ASP Software can make a difference. But what is ASP & How can it benefit businesses? Read on to find out!

What is ASP (Application Service Provider)?

As the name implies, ASP or Application Service provider primarily comprises the provision of applications & allied services to users & enterprises over the internet as per business needs.

Small &medium-scale enterprises usually rent ASP software for a specific fee. This reduces additional costs associated with purchasing computing systems & installing IT architecture since Third-party services provide these applications via the cloud.

How do Enterprises Access ASP Software?

Since ASP is provided via the internet, Enterprises & their users need to leverage a web browser to seamlessly access the application.

So, this means ASPs are not stored on the company’s local drives. Instead, these applications are stored on the Third-party service providers servers or cloud

While ASPs are single-tenant models, Multi-tenant models of such applications are known as SaaS i.e., Software-as-a-Service.

How does an ASP Work?

Now that you’ve learnt about the ASP Definition, understanding its working would be pretty easy.

To put it simply:

ASP users > Leverage Internet > Gain Remote-Access to Rented Software

The servers of ASP service providers can be located in other continents as well. Users generally carry out all their day-to-day tasks on the software & save the data on the remote server.

The ASP model generally comprises the following features:

  • The Third-party providers own & operate the applications
  • Effectively maintain all the servers that support the working of the application.
  • Offers “Pay-per-use” services or annual/monthly fees.
  • Provides information to all the clients that use the app via a computer/mobile device over the internet.

Advantages of Application Service Provider for Enterprises

Small & medium-scale enterprises find it difficult to own premium software as the budget of such companies is limited. This is where ASP is gaining prominence since it uses a pay-as-you-use service. On the other hand, large enterprises are leveraging ASP services in the form of outsourcing.

Some of the major advantages of Application Service Provider Services are:

  • Reduced IT Expenditure – As seen above, companies have to leverage traditional IT infrastructure to run applications & allied services. But when it comes to ASP all you need to do is avail the services as per business requirements & start using the applications via a browser. No need for costly infrastructure or maintenance.
  • Seamless Maintenance – Since ASP doesn’t require any local Hardware or Software infrastructure to maintain the service, you can easily run all the applications. The third-party provider will take care of all the maintenance including regular updates.
  • Excellent Collaboration – If you wanted to use desktop-grade applications on a mobile device, you would normally develop a specialized application. However, with ASP all you need to do is use a web browser to start using the application. No need of developing a separate application that reduces costs saves time & improves collaboration between desktop & mobile users.
  • Ability to use Specialized Applications –ASP models are perfect for specialized application use cases. Normally if you had to build an application you had to develop it according to the business needs which takes a lot of time. However, with ASP all you need to do is request an app & the third-party provider will develop it & offer it to you at an affordable price point.
  • Centralized Computing – ASP service providers have created this concept in which there is a single copy of the software on the server & individual users access its copies for business use.
  • Excellent technical support & automatic upgrades make ASP an affordable alternative to traditional application development & maintenance.

Examples of the Application service provider

Here are some common types of Application Service Providers that offer services like:

  • Enterprise – Broad Solutions & Allied services that can be leveraged by various industries.
  • Specialist – Single applications are delivered to users or enterprises for specific use-cases.
  • Local or Regional – As the name implies, these applications are developed & offered to small business services located in a specific region (local).
  • Volume –Low-cost packages offered by an Application Service Provider usually specialists.

This is what Application Service Providers are all about. Companies both small & large are looking towards sustainable alternatives to traditional IT solutions to reduce costs & improve productivity & ASPs might just be the correct solution for them!

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