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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Recommendations." 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.
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21 CHAPTER 4 RECOMMENDATIONS The use of ASPs as providers of application computing services is only one of several alternatives available to tran- sit agency management at this point in time. The consolida- tion currently underway in the ASP industry adds an element of risk to the ASP decision and demands the expenditure of the time and effort necessary to execute a due diligence inves- tigation of the ASP to obtain a reasonable assurance that the ASP will be able to deliver on its commitments to the cus- tomer. The nature of outsourced service delivery also imposes the need to carefully craft and negotiate an SLA for all but the least mission-critical systems and to manage the perfor- mance of the ASP vendor according to the terms of that SLA throughout the duration of the service contract. Those agencies willing to accept the risks that exist in the ASP industry and willing to assume the due diligence inves- tigation, SLA negotiation, and relationship management responsibilities for which current market conditions call can include application outsourcing with an ASP among the options they consider when deciding how to provision a new or replacement software application. Those unwilling to assume those responsibilities should not consider outsourcing any applications with an ASP until such time as the ASP market consolidation is complete and as clearly stable ASP vendors emerge. The use of thin client applications and thin client comput- ing within an organization is not subject to the risks associated with outsourcing that are present when considering the use of an ASP. This computing model is well established and—with the emergence of applications designed to run over a network and the trend to web-enable existing applications—is becom- ing a standard model for accessing enterprise applications. Organizations considering the use of thin client computing should assess their internal capabilities; if the capability to support thin client computing is present and if the thin client applications will be beneficial to the organization, there is no obstacle to its adoption.

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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.

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