The term “Cloud Computing” is most frequently used as another way to refer to outsourced information technology management – the servers, the applications, and the data are located and managed at a location other than your own – usually by a commercial service provider. SaaS, or Software as a Service, is another name used for this type of computing approach. “Cloud” solutions, which can also include managed application service and SaaS, are accessed via the Internet, rather than being installed on your own computer.
Application hosting is essentially the same thing as Cloud Computing, where the servers/applications/data are provided and managed by a 3rd party (outsourcer). Application hosting is different from Cloud computing or SaaS primarily in that you may purchase your software licensing rather than get it as part of the service.* This also means that you could end your online hosting arrangement, and install the software on your own computers (“take your ball and go home”). This capability does not exist with most pure “cloud” or “SaaS” solutions. For example, you could not install Google email on your own servers and run it in your own network. It only exists on Google’s servers.
The most evident benefit of “cloud” computing is anytime, anywhere access to applications and data and valuable business information. These solutions allows users to access resources and be productive even when away from the office. Cloud computing provides solution for mobile workers, or users in remote offices, too, and enables “home sourcing” (using at-home workers) or use of outsource companies or 3rd party contractors. Cloud computing can also solves issues around having multiple business locations.
“Cloud” computing, SaaS, and application hosting can reduce or eliminate the complexity of information technology, and can reduce the cost of implementing and maintaining IT in a business. Purchasing and installing servers and networks is no longer a requirement. Maintaining, upgrading, and repairing all the hardware and systems is the job of the service provider. Installing and updating application software is done by the service provider, and managing and protecting the data is part of the solution.
InsynQ’s application hosting service is similar to cloud computing in that it offers many of the benefits of SaaS, but without the service or vendor lock-in. Our application hosting services allow the business to maintain the option to select additional (or alternative) applications or solutions for hosting, even extending or integrating hosted applications with other solutions that may be SaaS or cloud-based. One of the biggest benefits of application hosting is that it allows a business to retain the option to return to localized technology – installing products on the local PC or network and ending the hosting service arrangement. In short, application hosting services can help a business move to a cloud computing strategy without having to retrain users, convert data, or reduce future software and systems options.
Outsourced IT services and managed application hosting can reduce IT costs (or, at minimum, create predictability in IT costs) while at the same time delivering improvements in security, productivity and performance. Application hosting services allow the business to implement new and complex solutions without the high upfront investment in hardware and networking infrastructure. And most application hosting services include all system administration and management, so ongoing costs of managing and maintaining the systems is part of the monthly service fee.
- Break/fix is no longer a “surprise” IT cost, because the service provider takes care of that.
- Productivity losses are reduced due to high availability of systems and reduced down-time. Protection of data reduces potential for loss, avoiding the need to rekey or recreate.
- Services can be scaled to deliver as much or as little as the business requires.
End-user technical support is typically included with the service for no additional cost.
- Moving to cloud computing via a hosting service allows you to improve your IT without retraining users or converting data because you can continue to use the software solutions you already use.
- Quality application hosting providers give you high levels of disaster recovery and can help with business continuity in the event of a disaster.
With InsynQ’s hosted application services, the business is no longer dependent upon a single physical location because services can be accessed from almost anywhere. Services are also no longer tied to a specific computer or device, and can be accessed from just about any Internet-connected computer. InsynQ services are delivered with high levels of redundancy to help keep you up and running, with tiered backups and strict data management to protect against data loss.
How might your business benefit?