Like so many Internet conventions, the Application Service Provider (ASP), is really a combination of two 'old' concepts, turn key applications and outsourced services. Many of the lessons learned from these areas are directly applicable to ASP provided applications, and many of the same questions need to be asked and answered before a determination can be made on whether an ASP application should be considered.
An Application Service Provider (ASP) provides an outsourced application to a firm, freeing the firm from hardware costs, training on the system operation, installation and system operation itself. Originally, ASP applications focused on a fairly narrow functional scope, however, as the market matures, the functionality the applications address is growing. It is now possible to contract for virtually any service or group of services required by a company. The ASP frees the client organization from