PaaS: From Spark To Business Reality

PaaS For Business

Platform-as-a-Service or PaaS is no longer just a ‘nice to have’ for the chosen few. It is now becoming a reality in more and more businesses. Today, we’re seeing an increasing number of decision makers looking to PaaS as a means of reducing the time it takes to develop and deploy applications.

This movement is being swept along by the grassroots enthusiasm of citizen developers looking for ways to develop tailor-made apps to personal business specifications. With demand for PaaS on the rise, businesses are looking for ways to ensure a smooth, trouble-free implementation of the platform. The following considerations of choice, speed and integration sum up the factors that can dictate success versus failure.

Choice

No business is the same. A cloud offering that is binary by nature will be doomed to failure. Thankfully, cloud technology is set up to accommodate all budgets, timelines, priorities and locations. A recent Vanson Bourne study has shown that 57% of IT decision makers feel that their current infrastructure makes app development difficult. Meanwhile, 41% said their set-up actually made deployment problematic. Successful PaaS implementation relies on giving organisations the choice to select the infrastructure they need.

Speed Of Delivery

The need for speed is a familiar concept across all business departments. Teams look to technology as a means of facilitating efficiency, agility and collaboration. Despite concerns around security, cost and skills, individuals outside of the IT department want the equipment to build tailor-made applications in real-time.

85% of respondents to the Vanson Bourne study say that there is a demand within their organisation to reduce the time taken to build and deploy new apps. PaaS is the fastest delivery option available. The democratisation of app development will equip everyday users with the drag-and-drop tools to build their own apps. The resulting ease of pressure on programmers and the IT department will speed up delivery and deployment.

All In One

Given the fast moving nature of technology trends, businesses must build apps that can adapt to new devices, platforms and data. Buying a PaaS solution must be as much about flexibility as it is about cost. By way of an example, it would be no use buying a PaaS that only allows you to develop web apps. Mobility within workforces is creating such challenge.

Although 51% see the increased mobility of their workforce as a driver for ‘mobile first’ apps, only 22% of new apps created are being built as ‘mobile first’. Therefore, all-in-one PaaS offerings allowing organisations to change focus where needed and explore new trends and opportunities is essential.

If businesses want to maximise on the opportunities available with PaaS they must lay the groundwork first. The IT department must make choices based on the priorities of their business not just on what competitors are doing. This will inform cloud choices, the speed and flexibility of app development and the resulting success of citizen developers. If businesses make well-informed decisions, PaaS implementation will be smooth and unshackle potential for an app friendly workplace.

Gary Calcott

Since joining Progress Software in 2007, Gary Calcott has had a number of roles including most recently the Management of the EMEA Solution Consulting Team. Effective June 2012, Gary is a member of the Application Development & Deployment Business Unit at Progress Software and, amongst other things, is responsible for developing go-to-market strategies, providing technical marketing support and developing best practice materials for the OpenEdge/aPaaS platform.