The Danger of Hosted Applications (and the solution)

Everytime I use a hosted application (such as online RSS reader bloglines) and it does not work, I think, “what happens to a small business owner who is relying on a hosted application and the application goes down?”.
What happens, if they have a huge client order pending and/or their business is on the line?
Right now bloglines is down, as happens a few times per year and although bloglines is not a “mission critical” application – what if it was?
What if I hosted my email, as I’m am thinking of doing, and the email host tells me they are down for an hour or half a day?
Unfortunately there is little you can do. But there are a few things that might help:
1. Have a blend of hosted and offline solutions. Meaning have an option to view your email in your email client (and download it there) or an option to view all the email via a web browser from your hosted application.
2. For email in particular, make sure you can re-route your email directly to your email box and/or to another provider in an emergency. You could consider having your ISP forward all email to your hosted email provider so that there are two and not one points of failure.
3. Remember to backup your files and critical documents, in the case of using a hosted application for document collaboration and storage.

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook