National Academies Press: OpenBook

e-Transit: Electronic Business Strategies for Public Transportation, Volume 2, Application Service Provider Implementation Guidelines (2002)

Chapter: Summary - e-Transit: Electronic Business Strategies for Public Transportation Volume 2 Application Service Provider Implement

« Previous: Front Matter
Page 1
Suggested Citation:"Summary - e-Transit: Electronic Business Strategies for Public Transportation Volume 2 Application Service Provider Implement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2002. e-Transit: Electronic Business Strategies for Public Transportation, Volume 2, Application Service Provider Implementation Guidelines. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24724.
×
Page 1
Page 2
Suggested Citation:"Summary - e-Transit: Electronic Business Strategies for Public Transportation Volume 2 Application Service Provider Implement." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2002. e-Transit: Electronic Business Strategies for Public Transportation, Volume 2, Application Service Provider Implementation Guidelines. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24724.
×
Page 2

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

The Application Service Provider (ASP) business model provides a viable alternative for transit agencies seeking to add new or replace existing computing services. ASPs first appeared in the late 1990s as part of the Internet boom and established operations funded by venture capital. When the level of investment interest in Internet companies dropped, many ASPs found that they had too few customers to sustain operations. The industry has been experiencing a shakeout and consolidation as inadequately funded ASPs and ASPs with flawed business plans exit the industry through bankruptcy, ces- sation of operations, merger, or acquisition. Enterprises have been slow to adopt ASPs as a source of computing services. This reluctance is due to a variety of reasons that include unfamiliarity with the ASP busi- ness model, the general immaturity of the ASP industry as a whole, the high failure rate among ASPs as the industry undergoes consolidation, and the unavailability of the appli- cations that enterprises wish to add to their computing capability portfolios. Those enterprises that have become customers of ASPs are extremely pleased with the ser- vice delivery model. Many who currently use ASPs are considering outsourcing addi- tional applications to an ASP. Some who have had the experience of their selected ASP going out of business were sufficiently pleased with the ASP service delivery model that they subsequently subscribed to services from another ASP. The current instability in the ASP industry demands that the prospective customer for ASP services exercise diligence in the selection of an ASP. The prospective customer must investigate the financial condition of the ASP and assess the ASP’s prospect for sur- vival. In addition, the customer must identify the ASP’s partners in service delivery and assess the probability of survival of each of those as well. To determine whether the ASP is capable of delivering the services promised, it is recommended that the prospective cus- tomer conduct a thorough check of customer account references. The prospective ASP customer should also be willing to expend the effort necessary to craft and negotiate a service level agreement with the ASP that specifies the customer’s expectations for ser- vice delivery, problem-resolution mechanisms, and penalties for non-performance up to and including termination of service. Finally, the prospective customer should be pre- pared to manage the ongoing relationship with the ASP by continually monitoring the SUMMARY e-Transit: Electronic Business Strategies for Public Transportation: Volume 2 APPLICATION SERVICE PROVIDER IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINES

quality of service delivery and evaluating service-delivery metrics and by maintaining contact with the ASP throughout the duration of the service contract. For those transit agencies with the necessary resources and the willingness to expend them in the performance of due diligence investigations of ASPs, in thorough customer reference checks, and in managing a business relationship on a continuing basis, the ASP business model provides an alternative to be considered, among others, for pro- visioning new or replacement computing services. The ultimate choice among avail- able alternatives should be made only after weighing business objectives, costs, bene- fits, and risks, as would be done for any other business decision. Agencies that lack the resources or capability to engage in due diligence investigations and ongoing relation- ship management should refrain from considering the use of ASPs until the industry stabilizes and stable service providers emerge. Thin client computing is a software architecture that concentrates processing and data storage on centralized servers and employs a minimal client-side software application to access applications hosted on the central servers. Thin client workstations can be per- sonal computers, or they can be specialized network computers or thin client devices. Thin client devices and network computers are specialized computers that consist only of a central processor, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and memory while usually possess- ing minimal, if any, storage. These devices are designed to execute user-interface soft- ware residing or hosted on a central server or burned into read-only memory that allows access to centralized, enterprise thin client applications. The user-interface access soft- ware may be an Internet browser or some other minimal application. Thin client applications and systems have been in use for several years and are accepted as standard alternatives for providing computing services. The economic benefits of thin client computing have been well established and are generally well understood. The emergence of the network computing model that calls for accessing applications over a network has accelerated the development and spread of thin client applications as each application designed to be accessed over a network or retrofitted to be web-enabled for access over a network is itself a thin client application. This style of application access is commonly accepted and is frequently provided by software vendors for client work- station access to their application systems in addition to, or instead of, client server access. Transit agencies considering the use of thin client applications are not confronted with the risks of provider failure that must be mitigated if considering the use of an ASP. Rather, when considering thin client applications, the agency can limit its concerns to the specific applications to be implemented as thin client, costs, the anticipated benefits to the agency of thin client–application adoption, any infrastructure upgrades that might be prerequisite for thin client implementation, and with the agency’s technical capabil- ity to implement and support thin client applications. If the applications under consid- eration for thin client implementation are structured, transaction-oriented, and repetitive, the thin client computing model is an appropriate alternative for providing the applica- tions. If, on the other hand, the applications to be provided are compute-intensive, data- intensive, or if they support creative work processes, thin client may not be the optimum choice for application support. If an agency can satisfy itself that the end result of these considerations is positive, then the agency should not hesitate to proceed with the selec- tion of a thin client solution for providing its computing needs. 2

Next: Chapter 1 - Introduction and Research Methodology »
e-Transit: Electronic Business Strategies for Public Transportation, Volume 2, Application Service Provider Implementation Guidelines Get This Book
×
 e-Transit: Electronic Business Strategies for Public Transportation, Volume 2, Application Service Provider Implementation Guidelines
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 84: e-Transit: Electronic Business Strategies for Public Transportation, Volume 2: Application Service Provider Implementation Guidelines, presents the results of an investigation into the use of application service providers and thin client computing technologies by transit agencies.

READ FREE ONLINE

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!