Businesses are embracing cloud solutions with greater confidence by realizing efficiencies and cost savings in the hosted services model. Traditionally, competitive businesses comprised of bloated IT infrastructure costs, highly stressed and caffeinated IT Departments, and stifled, rigid software solutions that consumed time and money. The three tiered cloud stack of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and SaaS (Software as a Service) has effectively redesigned what 21st century competition looks like. The challenge now for that same firm is to embrace the kind of change that PaaS is meant to provide. By adopting a service that reinforces a business’s processes, PaaS will define a generation of new and thriving opportunities for both business and application developers alike.
With the advancements in mobile and web application technologies, by supporting higher capabilities of remote access to hosted data sources, companies are inundated with multiple streams of raw business data. These various inputs have challenged businesses to become effective at both juggling the management and useful application of that data. Adaptability becomes crucial. The question posed by demand in cost effectiveness while yielding operational efficiencies is: How can a business reduce its costs but expand its productivity? The solution lies in a PaaS. Platform as a service solutions enable a company to understand and redefine their operations without incurring the mega costs of establishing the infrastructure, support staff and risk of a catastrophic misstep. As with the IaaS and SaaS, PaaS requires the company to reevaluate each aspect of their workflow, from the input to the output of their raw business data. Luckily for businesses, application developers are just as eager at finding the right solution for a specific need.
The three tiered cloud stack of IaaS , PaaS, and SaaS redesigned what 21st century competition looks like.
Developers of application platforms can adopt a business process and adapt a single interface with the already existing input systems, from email to hosted storage. The key for PaaS to be successful is for these applications to be flexible in combining mobile and web platforms for multiple data sources. These versatile applications will reinforce existing business processes while likely creating new workflows that were never possible before. Even better, a company can rest assured that these solutions are tailored to their needs specifically, making them scalable, customizable and future proof. This is a key example of technology supporting the process, instead of the often and unfortunate case of processes defined by the technology. In the latter case, time and money are arbitrarily wasted by trying to force applications to perform in ways never intended. Essentially, trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
Last November the International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasted that the PaaS market would expand from $3.8 billion in 2012 to over $14 billion in 2017. The key notes from their research focused on:
- Modern application development and deployment techniques
- Real time interactions between a business and their customers
- Market drivers like the financial and healthcare service industries
Given the significant impact in the business world, the challenge remains to get an industry of users to clearly understand what PaaS is in relation to the other hosted services. General business users can easily appreciate what the Microsoft Office suite may provide, and will gladly pay for that software service. Those same companies may quickly grasp that infrastructure costs will only increase over time, and require IT support staff to maintain these systems. In both examples, SaaS and IaaS are easy sales. However, the even smarter business will understand that adopting customized applications to connect with their various data sources and mobile platforms will streamline many of their processes. Major companies like Google, Microsoft and IBM are counting on these savvy businesses to realize such benefits.
The key now for businesses is to take a step back before making a giant leap forward. PaaS is the future of competitive business. The only stipulation, and it’s a resounding one, is that businesses are required to adopt change in order for it to be successful. As with any new technology, if the competitors are doing it, it’s worth the time to learn more and quickly.
How are you leveraging PaaS based solutions? Let us know.