How to Choose a Managed Hosting Provider for Your SAAS Solution - Page 2

Tip No. 3: Ensure that your hosting provider can provide rock-solid hosting services and will handle all facets of your SAAS implementation.

As an ASP, you may want to save costs and avoid the perceived complexities of dealing with third-party vendors by hosting and managing your SAAS infrastructure internally. What you may not realize is that this approach detracts from your core capabilities-developing unique software solutions to meet a specific business need. And it provides no additional value to your users.

Despite these consequences, relinquishing control and shifting the technical implementation and management to a hosting provider can be daunting. You can alleviate some concerns about the transition by verifying that your potential host not only has a solid reputation as a managed hosting provider, but also possesses the expertise and capabilities to deliver the promised SAAS experience.

First and foremost, it should have ownership over essential, high-quality SAAS assets, including data center facilities, networks and other IT components. Additionally, the host should be able to demonstrate that it has established vendor relationships and service agreements already in place, offer performance SLA monitoring to cover critical elements of service (such as network performance and response times), and provide comprehensive security credentials. The ideal hosting candidate should also have a professional services team and 24/7, reliable and dedicated support to assist with any technical issues.

Finding a trusted, highly capable hosting provider will help free you from the responsibility of managing your SAAS infrastructure. Furthermore, it will enable you to focus on software and application development, thereby creating greater value for your users and differentiating you from the competition.

Tip No. 4: Select a hosting provider that has a wide network of partners to provide the right resources and greater choice.

Be wary of hosting providers that claim they can single-handedly solve all your SAAS problems. Many say they can get to know your entire software package, which is nearly impossible. Others tout their ability to address a customer's every requirement or preference, which is difficult because these needs are not universal and are highly variable. Further, they may not have deep knowledge or expertise in new or highly specialized areas.

Successful SAAS implementation is about delivering on promises, not just making them. Your hosting provider should have an extended and growing network of alliances that can offer a highly differentiated suite of enablement capabilities, from multitenancy and application firewalling to software life-cycle development services, as well as unanticipated or emerging services as needed.