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Tuesday, 03 June 2014 08:56

When to choose platform-as-a-service over infrastructure or software

Posted By  Len Padilla

If you're wavering between Saas, Iaas and Paas then this is for you as we take a look at some of the reasons why Gartner is predicting a steep rise in the future for platform as a service.

Out of all the different cloud computing services, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) has been the slowest growing with many organisations hesitant to adopt. PaaS, which provides a computing platform along with a solutions stack service, has only a used a fraction of total cloud spending in recent years.

However, this is set to change as PaaS finally appears to be growing in popularity, predicted to leapfrog other cloud services in the coming years. Leading analyst Gartner estimates a steep rise in PaaS adoption, forecasting an increase in spending to more than $2.9 billion by 2016. So what has caused this sudden shift in the ICT landscape? And what can organisations expect from PaaS?

The evolution to PaaS

The application development market is going through some major changes. Not only has technology increased tenfold in complexity, but there are also many new tools to understand. IT departments are expected to continually modify applications and the accumulation of new service or change requests from the business puts a massive strain on resource. As a result, organisations are seeking better ways to develop new projects more quickly, flexibly and cost effectively. The good news is that the cloud market is more mature than it was a few years ago, making PaaS a more effective choice for businesses.

The possibilities of PaaS

It’s not hard to understand why there is now such a focus on PaaS; its key benefit is fundamental to each and every organisation – cost reduction. By adopting PaaS you can decrease the costs usually associated with traditional application development and deployment. For example, writing and testing new programs is computationally intensive and requires large amounts of server and storage space. With PaaS, businesses will have access to this space and will not require investment in extra server or storage space as the vendor will have this already for them.  PaaS is further beneficial because it’s simple to manage and very economical. This is because it’s easily integrated into existing ICT systems, so development teams are able to deploy scalable, complex applications whenever they want and with less strain on ICT resources. 

The competitive forecast

The demand for modern applications by business is increasing each day and with this comes the need for innovation and sophistication. This past year has seen major cloud players continue to develop their PaaS offerings. We’ve seen updates to Windows Azure, Red Hat’s Open Shift and Google’s App Engine, creating enhancements that ease deployment and management across the platform. Considering that PaaS is, in essence, a ‘pay-as-you-go’ service, it’s easy to understand why we are seeing such activity. Organisations can tap into the platform where and when they want to and only need to worry about their own software and applications. Mature cloud providers on the other hand take care of the management and administration of the underlying ICT infrastructure as whole and so need to make sure they’re providing the most seamless service possible. As organisations become more knowledgeable of what PaaS can offer they will demand more from their ICT providers which will stimulate market competition. Organisations in every global market are demanding that their cloud partners offer PaaS to create software applications using tools supplied by the provider.

This year, companies of all sizes will look to PaaS as an alternative to traditional management to reap these rewards. However, businesses now demand more from their ICT providers, and PaaS will be no exception. As such, PaaS services will have to be able to keep up-to-date with the rapidly changing market, in terms of both customer demands and increased competition amongst providers. With the last year already seeing many vendors offering PaaS to its customers including Amazon, VMware and the like, we’ll also look forward to seeing further innovations within this market.

This article first appeared in the print issue of Cloud Computing Intelligence magazine – Subscribe now to get the latest cloud computing information delivered to your desk .


About the Author

Len Padilla, Vice President of Product Strategy at NTT Europe and is tasked with enabling NTT to get the most out of cloud technology. Which is something he can do easily, as previously he was senior director of technology at NTT for nearly seven years.  Before NTT Len worked at Verio Europe, PSINet, Intercomputer and CGI movie experts Pixar.

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