Should a Church Utilize ASP-based Software Solutions?July 27, 2004
A second question facing church technology professionals is, Should we use ASP software solutions?
Whenever possible, we try to utilize ASP (Application Service Providers) based software. Even a church of our size that is blessed with full-time IT employees (a rarity in most churches) understands the great benefits of having someone else host, monitor and maintain applications on our behalf. Our entire church management system, Fellowship One, help desk tracking, and payroll are accessed by staff through a simple web browser, with no software or data maintained onsite.
For a fairly low ongoing cost, the ASP maintains the servers, software, network, and security necessary to use the application. This saves us a great deal of ongoing work and support, and often money as well.
The more you utilize ASP's, the more you will need to make sure your staff has access to a great, high-bandwidth Internet connection to make the experience as pleasant and reliable as possible.
Again, this decision often comes down to one question: Where do we as a church want to invest? As much as possible, we try to put our resources into ministry rather than hire, build and support the necessary infrastructure to go it alone. Sometimes, we have no choice, but when we do, an ASP is a great alternative.