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Survey shows popularity of ASPs increasingApplication service providers are gaining in both customers and customer satisfaction, according to a tracking survey released last week by the ASP Industry Consortium.

The consortium is an international group dedicated to promoting the ASP industry. The study, second in a quarterly series, was conducted by Zona Research.

The main factors driving enterprises to move to the ASP model, according to the survey, are cost savings, the ability to focus on business objectives and the speed of application implementation.

The survey sampled 131 managers and IT professionals and found that 63.4 per cent of the respondents meeting the survey criteria said their firms used ASPs, up from 52.4 per cent in the first quarter survey.

Ninety per cent of the respondents said they were happy with their service-level agreements (SLA), up from 81 per cent in the earlier survey. The most common recommended changes listed by those dissatisfied with their SLAs were greater guaranteed availability and better responsiveness to SLA‘e-readiness' gap threatens economic growthAn analysis of 42 countries' current ability to participate fully in the digital economy paints a grim picture for most of them. The report, prepared by a new US-based consultancy McConnell International LLC, said the situation is so bad that, unless key countries act quickly, world economic expansion could stagnate.

The report examined the 42 countries for what the authors called "e-readiness". Each country was rated based on five categories -- the availability and access to networks; government and industry leadership in fostering electronic business and electronic government; the strength of laws protecting intellectual property rights; the availability of workers to support electronic business; and the electronic business climate.

The results show the "e-readiness" situation in the 42 countries, including Argentina, China, Italy, Spain and South Africa, is more serious than the year 2000 (Y2K) problem turned out to be.

Overall, 46 per cent of the ratings show substantial improvement is needed to support electronic business and electronic government. Only eight of the countries - Costa Rica, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Estonia, Hungary, Italy and Portugal - received the highest rating in at least one of the five categories.

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