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The Future of ASPs and Scalability

Clearly, range and depth need to be increased for statistics available on performance of e-business sites worldwide. Industry associations such as the ASP Industry Consortium have pioneered the development of Service Level Agreements, adding performance-incentive clauses in addition to creating templates for companies to use in creating their agreements with customers.

There is also continued development of metrics from other areas of the Internet that have direct impact on the ASP model. These include the Web metrics measurement applications that define bandwidth for companies and the relative level of traffic a company is having over time based on its use of promotional offers. The entire aspect of load balancing will eventually migrate into metrics that will be listed in Service Level Agreements.

Just as in the product development area of the ASP model, there continues to be a focus within the area of scalability on the role early adopters are playing in defining the industry. Taking the initiative with your ASP(s) can pay dividends down the road as the performance of your Web site is quantified and unequivocal with its performance.

Hosting companies coming online today need to differentiate themselves in the scalability area as convincingly as possible to establish a market presence. The technical aspects of scalability are indeed worthy of entire books. The intent of this article is to provide you with a set of guidelines for defining the expectations you and your customers have for ASPs you're either working with today or planning to work with in the future. Scalability metrics are essential in your e-business strategy for getting a continual high level of responsiveness for your customers.

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