Over the years, the dynamics of medium and large companies have changed substantially. A decade or two ago, businesses had technology teams large enough to take care of each of the areas of this department, take care of the logic of their software, the administration of the platforms, and the corresponding maintenance, meeting the immediate needs of the company.
But with the technological advances of recent years, the situation has become more complex and demanding, especially due to digital transformation. For this reason, more and more companies are working with software providers who they have placed their trust in to take charge of maintaining their software over time, providing support for both applications and hosting.
If you have not worked with software providers before, you should be clear: one thing is to maintain the server itself and be able to solve problems related to the server, and another thing is to support the application so that it finally works correctly. Both aspects are related, but they are two different tasks.
That is precisely the central theme of this blog: to clarify the types of support services, what is application support and hosting support and how both are related, but they are not the same, they are two different services than a provider software can offer.
This issue generates a lot of confusion in companies because when they contact a software provider, for example, they do so because they believe that they have problems with their application or software, although many times the end-user does not have the necessary knowledge to determine if it really is a problem with the application or a problem with the server / hosting itself. Which leads them to think that it is a single service when they are two completely different.
Numerous companies have moved their physical servers to the cloud in the last 20 years, many times with the partial support of the company's own In-House team. But at the end of the day, the company would be raising internal costs by having a team member totally dedicated to hosting maintenance, so it is much more practical and beneficial for the budget to hire a software provider for this service and thus the In-House team can be dedicated to other core tasks.
When we talk about hosting support, we refer to the support in the management of the servers and the problems that may arise in this regard. The software vendor identifies problems, resolves them, and tracks the performance of the servers to ensure that everything is working optimally.
In the case of application support, it refers to when the software provider is responsible for supporting companies with the resolution of problems in their applications, without touching anything related to hosting.
The situations that arise when giving hosting support to a company are much more scalable and understandable than an application support situation. Why? Simply because an application can have hundreds of different problems and scenarios affecting its operation, which the software vendor must discover, analyze, and resolve.
On the other hand, in the case of hosting support, the problems that may arise are more predefined, so identifying the problem situation is faster and the resolution more expeditious.
So, this is when companies typically tend to hire one provider of application support software and another provider for hosting support. But keep in mind that the same software provider can offer you both services. We repeat it: although they are two different tasks, a single engineer can execute both things and make both the application and the server work correctly.
Attention: if you decide to hire a software provider for hosting support, their only responsibility is to ensure that the server is working properly and is responding to user demand. It does not have the duty to support applications, it is simply in charge of checking the operation of the server.
This can be useless and counterproductive since, in addition to the company needing a well-functioning server, it also needs the applications to respond correctly.
Therefore, along with hosting support, there must be simultaneous application support to maintain the software itself and solve integration, behavior, and update problems.
Many companies contract the hosting services directly with the manufacturer, such as Azure, Digital Ocean, Go Daddy. But when looking for support, the situation can become a bit complicated, since the only thing the company can do is create a support ticket on the manufacturer's platform, which will probably respond in a very technical way that can generate more doubts.
If the support is given by a software provider, the situation will flow much easier since they usually have alliances with the manufacturers. They are in charge of contacting them, asking the corresponding questions and explaining to the companies what is happening with their hosting and what they can do to solve the problem.
We summarize what we just explained to you in this final paragraph: hosting support and application support are related, but they are different services. The first focuses on solving situations related to the operation of the servers only, while the second is dedicated to solving problems in the applications themselves.
When a company, for example, has problems with its e-commerce website, it can immediately think that it is the web page that is failing, when it can also be a server failure due to excessive traffic.
That is where the software provider comes into play: they will be able to determine if the problem is with the hosting or with the application itself, and then apply the corresponding corrections. The same software engineer can provide application and hosting support, but companies must be clear that they are two independent and different types of services.
At Rootstack we have more than 10 years supporting companies in their digital transformation. Do you have any need for hosting or application support? Contact us!