Houston, Texas – (The Hosting News) – June 20, 2007 – Privately held dedicated hosting company, The Planet, has
sponsored a white paper which outlines small and medium business requirements for next-generation e-commerce web sites, including web hosting recommendations to reduce associated IT costs.
The new Stratecast Partners report underscores how web hosting, such as The Planet’s carrier-grade IT hosting infrastructure, provides SMBs with affordable next-generation functionality, increased security and performance to compete effectively against larger rivals with deeper pockets. Stratecast is a division of industry research firm Frost and Sullivan.
The Stratecast white paper, How SMBs Can Increase eCommerce Revenue and Decrease IT Costs, describes next-generation e-commerce trends and web site functionality necessary to deliver the optimal online shopping experience. The report stresses the importance of using world-class Internet-connected data centers to ensure advanced functionality — including streaming video and Internet voice communications — is delivered without performance and security glitches that could drive customers to competitors’ web sites.
Steve Kahan, Vice President of Marketing at The Planet opined, ”Online shopper expectations continue to raise the bar for businesses that engage in e-commerce, which requires greater functionality. The Stratecast report recommends that small- and medium-sized businesses outsource the IT infrastructure required to support this enhanced shopping experience through hosting providers. The Planet’s world-class data centers and redundant high-performance networks deliver next-generation e-commerce functionality at an affordable monthly cost. It’s a critical advantage that allows our customers to compete effectively against larger online retailers with extensive technology and financial resources.”
Stratecast White Paper Highlights include:
According to Stratecast, online shoppers increasingly demand a richer experience, such as 360-degree product views, layered informational screens and up-front alerts on product availability that more closely mimic shopping in-person in a retail store. To create an even more distinctive online shopping environment, the report also recommends enhanced features, such as streaming video, live chat that incorporates voice-over-IP communications and personalized sales assistance for high-value customers.
The Stratecast paper notes that next-generation functionality requires an IT infrastructure capable of delivering the performance to ensure each visitor enjoys a seamless shopping experience. If functionality does not perform to its potential, the net result is that shoppers will leave the site and never return. To avoid this scenario, the report recommends having the following e-commerce infrastructure components in place:
- Redundant and highly scalable web servers to accommodate peak traffic and minimize the risk of server downtime
- Physical and cyber security to protect the e-commerce platform and customers’ personal and financial information from disruption and theft
- Wideband and redundant access between the data center and the Internet to provide sufficient bandwidth to prevent access congestion and ensure shoppers experience rapid response times
- Data center utilities to ensure air conditioning, heating and electrical power that are sufficient to prevent IT infrastructure failure and downtime
- Around-the-clock administration to provide sufficient technical support that ensures all systems operate flawlessly
The report suggests that IT infrastructure costs do not have to present a barrier for SMBs if companies use a high-quality web hosting provider. Based on the research firm’s analysis, SMBs that outsource their IT infrastructure can reduce their e-commerce technology costs by up to 75 percent compared to the cost of owning and operating IT components internally.
Frost and Sullivan’s Stratecast practice directly assists clients in achieving their strategic objectives by providing critical and objective insights. Stratecast’s industry analysts and market experts provide the communications industry with market consulting and tactical strategic forecasting. This market information and industry research helps senior executives make critical business, technology, product, partnership, and tactical strategy decisions. Our custom consulting, analyst availability, and market subscriptions provides your firm with winning business growth strategies.
The Planet is a leading provider of On Demand IT Infrastructure solutions, hosting more than 22,000 small and medium size businesses and 2.8 million web sites worldwide, using the best choice of servers, software tools and support, backed by state-of-the-art facilities and network connectivity.
To learn more about The Planet, please visit: www.theplanet.com.