ASPs go Web native

Customers like it

The market for web native ASPs in the US is experiencing a resurgence. Having been tarred with the same brush which wrote off many of the early, non-web native ASPs, it appears that in 2002 and beyond, the web native ASP will have its day.

A new study from IDC confirms a definite upturn in the market for these services, predicting heady revenue growth across the sector and happy times for many of the operators.

Web Native ASPs are different from the ones that we used to hear about a couple of years ago. Previously the generally-held understanding of an ASP was that it served your applications directly to your desktop from its weighty server farm. In many instances this meant taking the Citrix server technologies and delivering entire desktops, applications and all, to dumb clients. Today though that has changed.

The Web Native ASP is a different creature modelled more on the Yahoo or Amazon proposition than anything from a software or ISP vendor. A web native ASP is a company which provides online applications that are accessed strictly through a browser. It doesn't attempt to serve any particular locale or business office. It just serves the web, and customers access the service like they would their Amazon account or their Yahoo! mail.

It's an appealing model too. Organisations such as Salesforce.com have pioneered this model of application provision and they've done so to good effect, notching up customers very rapidly, according to reports.

In the US especially this web native ASP has been readily adopted — and it shows few signs of slowing down. Last year, according to IDC, the market for web native ASPs was ticking along at $200 million. By 2006 however this is predicted, by IDC, to top $1.5 billion.

That doesn't mean it's going to be plain sailing for the web native ASPs however. It isn't. There are still plenty of challenges facing this pioneering group, if only because of the difficulties associated with such application provision. But the emergence of WSA (Web Services Architecture) compliant applications, as IDC rightly notes, will undoubtedly buoy the sector and give these players further ground to exploit.

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