More than one-third of U.S. businesses are missing out on an opportunity to realize 30 to 40 percent in cost savings — or between US$6 million and $12 million over the next three years — by continuing to host their Web sites and technology infrastructure responsibilities internally, according to a study released Wednesday by Jupiter Media Metrix.
“Companies that continue to host their own sites will gain littlecompetitive advantage and spend more money on staffing and technology thanthose that outsource these functions,” said Jupiter research director DavidTaylor. “Those that act and act now will be saving millions in the longrun.”
The research firm found that companies with highly trafficked sites stand toderive the greatest cost reductions from outsourcing — and also have themost to lose if they do not go that route.
For instance, the report said an in-house staff of 18 to 25 employees coststhree times as much per year, while management tools and related expenseswill result in an additional $2 million outlay over a three-year period.
In addition, Jupiter forecast that recurring costs such as bandwidth,co-location services and vendor management can easily add in excess of $1million in expenditures during the same period.
However, Jupiter said that an increasing number of businesses will opt tooutsource their Web hosting needs to specialists within the next three yearsas the advantages of outsourcing become more apparent. The shift will render in-househosting a “rare” occurrence, the report concluded.
Among the most pressing concerns holding executives back from making the switch to outsourcing were security and control issues, Jupiter said. The 30-plus chief technologyofficers surveyed by Jupiter also cited fear of giving awaycompany knowledge, and poor customer service by outside vendors, as obstacles to switching their systems over to outsiders.
In addition to its Web hosting findings, Jupiter also released new data onWeb development projects. According to Jupiter, 80 percent of companiesundertake Web development initiatives before their site hosting and technologyinfrastructure is in place.
As a result, the report said nine out of 10 of these ventures will face some form of avoidable rebuilding.
“Companies engaged in Web development projects must select a technologyinfrastructure provider simultaneously with an application developer,” saidJupiter.
Doing so, the report projects, will cut implementation delays by 25to 30 percent by eliminating wasted development time.
Jupiter also said that executives are greatly underestimating the importanceof scalability, with none of its respondents citing it as an importantfactor in choosing a hosting provider.
By comparison, a survey of company leaders conducted by Jupiter in 1999 ranked scalability thesecond most essential criteria in their selection process.
“Web companies today should not take scalability for granted, becausespending slightly more up front to assure proper scalability can preventcrises resulting in massive costs,” the research firm said.
The report advised companies to consider a range of factors when picking ahosting provider, including reliability, scalability, security, provensuccess, accountability, response speed and customer service.