Application service provider (ASP) - Outsourced solution provider
Internet hosting provides computer-based services to customers over a network. The most limited sense of this business is that of providing access to a particular application program (such as customer relationship management) using a standard protocol such as HTTP.
The need for ASPs has evolved from the increasing costs of specialized software that have far exceeded the price range of small to medium sized businesses. As well, the growing complexities of software have led to huge costs in distributing the software to end-users.
Through ASPs, the complexities and costs of such software can be cut down. In addition, the issues of upgrading have been eliminated from the end-firm by placing the onus on the ASP to maintain up-to-date services, 24 x 7 technical support, physical and electronic security and in-built support for business continuity and flexible working.