Hosted applications: Can you trust them with your business?

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This article appeared in the August issue of CRN magazine.

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Hosted applications: Can you trust them with your business?
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Hosted applications have been part of the IT industry since before you first heard the words" You've Got Mail" boom out of your old Compaq Presario (or whatever 386-based PC you, your colleagues or your customers used at the time), and America Online began hosting e-mail, contacts and messaging for millions of end users.

But while on one hand there's nothing new about hosted applications, on the other hand everything is new as enterprises of all sizes begin migrating more and more mission-critical technology to the cloud. In the CRN Test Centre, this has given us the challenge of examining aspects of business solutions that we can't control ourselves on a soup-to-nuts basis.

Issues like uptime, performance and reliability are fraught with "mileage-may-vary" aspects. Best practices continue to evolve, as do the basic questions over when is it time for cloud computing, and how much cloud computing is enough?

Against this backdrop, this month in CRNtech we take a look at three hosted applications--from industry heavyweights Intuit, NetSuite and Cisco. Taking our best look at their uptime, features and functions, and cost, we ask a basic question: Can you trust them with your business?

The answer to each, for the most part, is "yes" - but there are some caveats that we will note.

Previously in CRNtech, we've looked at hosted applications from Google, Microsoft, IBM /Lotus and others - when the phrase "cloud computing" was just entering the vernacular. As market conditions and business issues continue to change and evolve, so will our questions. For now, here is how we stack up these hosted apps.

Next page: Intuit...

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