Application Hosting - How Do You Choose?

Application Hosting - How Do You Choose?

The rationale for application hosting is as follows: it provides full and instant access to software and applications, from any device, whatever its location. Today, with all the hype and tumult surrounding application hosting, knowing who to trust with your cloud computing needs can prove to be an arduous task.

Application hosting is a form of cloud computing which enables the user to move all their vital data and applications away from onsite computers, and onto the cloud, enabling system integration. But choosing the solution that best fits your business can be a difficult decision.

Security

When considering potential cloud computing options, a smart business makes security its number one priority. When you host your applications, you also host all of your important data, and, for all the advantages of unrestricted access, an insecure connection can put your entire business in jeopardy.

No matter the cloud strategy you choose, there will always be a reliance on the application hosting provider for security and protection. And, there are three important components that ensure your cloud-hosting security:

  1. Encryption

    Encryption is an essential element of security for your data and applications and guarantees that your connection to the cloud is completely secure, no matter where you are in the world. 128-bit encryption should be the minimum requirement for any application hosting provider.
  2. Location

    Having an off-site contingency in place in case of an emergency is invaluable. It is always reassuring to know that when disaster strikes all of your data and applications are safely backed-up and being stored at a secure off-site location.
  3. Back-ups

    Ideally, your application hosting provider automatically backs up your applications and data as soon as it is entered to help prevent downtime. Look for hosting that offers data mirroring, the process of implementing storage networks to ensure that all data is backed up immediately.

Download the Periodic Table of CX for a visual overview of the many elements  that make for successful customer experience
Support

The availability of effective and fast-acting IT support is crucial to any business. Making the transition from onsite computers to the cloud can be a daunting experience, regardless of company size. The provision of ongoing support to iron out teething problems post-implementation, ensuring system functionality is maintained, is key to continued business growth.

Predominantly, support is offered by most application hosting providers, however there is a chasm of variation in the breadth of the cover on offer. It is best practice to ensure that the following elements are included to provide the best support for your business:

  1. 24/7 support

    Running a business is not just a 9-5 responsibility. The availability of a helpdesk when you need it can be of vital importance, as the practicalities of business means that sometimes important deadlines don’t fall between work hours.
  2. Training availability

    A company’s strength emanates from its workforce. It has long been a well-held belief within the business sector that happy, educated personnel are the key to success. And, with the introduction of a new application hosting system, employee training should be sought to empower your staff and ensure your business attains the maximum benefits from your solution.
  3. Local Support

    Many hosting companies outsource their IT support overseas in order to cut costs. However, for many consumers there is little more frustrating than trying to communicate a complicated issue to somebody who is unable to speak your native language. Choosing a hosting provider that has local support can prevent these irritating situations and make your life much easier.

Flexibility and Scalability

As mentioned above, the strength of a company is reliant on its workforce; cloud computing enables employees to access business-critical information and applications from anywhere in the world, increasing efficiency to improve collaboration for your business. With the use of smartphones, laptops and tablets, employees have the ability to access and share files over the internet from wherever they are in the world.

Application hosting is often employed by businesses that have a growing or fluctuating demand for their services. The facility to alter and tweak a cloud set-up in line with your businesses requirements tends to be significantly more economical than the provision of onsite computers, and for this reason, scalability is important.

One of the main benefits of cloud computing is the inherent flexibility and scalability on offer. However, when choosing application hosting for your business, you should look at providers which offer a comprehensive solution.

Choosing a prospective application hosting provider can be a burdensome decision for any business, especially considering the number of different solutions available. Security should always be the primary concern for any organisation; should disaster strike, the security protocols are the only thing standing between your business and catastrophe. The provision of ongoing support should also play a big part in your hosting solution decision, as the availability of valuable, fast-acting IT support is crucial to success. Striving to employ a service that promotes employee flexibility is indispensible as it allows for greater focus on customer experience. By following some of the advice that has been presented above, your business can begin to realise the advantages of adopting an application hosting solution and start embracing the benefits of cloud computing.

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