IDC Study Finds ASPs’ Most Pressing Infrastructure Systems Software Needs Are Performance Management and Security

FRAMINGHAM, MA — OCTOBER 11, 2000 — According to a recent IDC survey of several leading application service providers (ASPs), infrastructure systems software (ISS) is absolutely critical to ASP success, and this importance is increasing. In-depth interviews with 29 established ASPs about their use and planned use of systems, network, and security software revealed that the ASPs' most pressing ISS needs include performance management and security — coupled with the ability to monitor and report on the status of these elements in real time.

"Strong and demonstrable security is of special importance to ASPs," said Chris Christiansen, program director for IDC's Internet Infrastructure Systems Software program. "Security is a horizontal and pervasive infrastructure tool vital to network, applications, and, increasingly, content access and use.

Prospective customers must be convinced that their corporate applications, data, and transactions will be secure for them to even consider engaging an ASP solution."

Survey respondents also indicated an increasing growing need for ISS solutions. Several categories of ISS — network management, security software, data movement, middleware, Web servers and operating systems, and self administration will be even more important to the ASPs in 12 months. The average importance score, with 5 being the highest, for these features today is 3.6. However, the average score increases to 4.2 for the importance of these features one year

from now.

"ASP executives interviewed identify demonstrable security and powerful system performance to be the baseline critical success factors in their industry," said Amy Mizoras, senior analyst with IDC's Application Service Provider program. "But, only those ASPs that go beyond these baseline requirements to demonstrate and guarantee the delivery of application services with strong service-level agreements will succeed in the business."

IDC's ISS survey included in-depth interviews with 29 ASPs and ASP-specific software and service partners about their use and planned use of systems, network, and security software as well as administration capabilities. Only ASPs that already have established customers, for which they have accrued full operational experience, were considered. The survey's results are published in IDC's report ASP Infrastructure Systems Software (IDC #B23083). This report

examines the use of infrastructure systems software among ASPs. Additionally, the report identifies the features and functions current systems products will need to support the growth of ASPs, their customers, and their channel partners. It is written for ASPs, potential customers of ASPs, and suppliers of servers and other components related to the ASP market.

To purchase this report, contact Cheryl Toffel at 1-800-343-4952, extension

4389, or at

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's

leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition


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