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Platform as a Service (PaaS): One way to Cut Infrastructure Costs and Speed Application Development

By Dick Weisinger

The public platform-as a service (PaaS) market is expected to double in the next four years, according to research by IDC.

PaaS cloud-based provider services include a base computing stack of components, that include the hardware, operating systems, storage,
and network capacity. The consumer is responsible for deploying and configuring the software on the PaaS-provided stack.

David Linthicum notes that the line between infrastructure-as a service and PaaS is rapidly blurring. ¬† “PaaS isn’t much good unless you have the infrastructure to support the resulting applications, and IaaS doesn’t really help unless you have the ability to create solutions that run on the infrastructure. PaaS must have infrastructure, and infrastructure must have PaaS.”

IDC forecasts that the global PaaS market will grow from $3.8 billion in 2012 to more than $14 billion by 2017.  Companies see PaaS as a tool for them to cut their infrastructure costs and to speed application development.

The IDC reports some of the drivers for the rapid growth of PaaS include:

  • Need for real-time interactions with customers and partners
  • Industry-specific requirements like healthcare reform and fiscal reform by governments
  • Increasingly more advanced types of data management applications

IDC recognizes the following sub-markets within the PaaS category of services:

  • Application platform-as-a-service
  • Database platform-as-a-service
  • Integration platform-as-a-service
  • Business process management platform-as-a-service
  • Cloud testing and other platform-as-a-service

The report comments about future trends for application developers that “one of the biggest unknowns related to public PaaS is its potential impact on IT staff. Because public PaaS improves developer productivity by a factor of two or more, what happens to the developer workforce? Do enterprises make more use of IT or elect to take some or all of the benefit in terms of reducing the developer workforce? The answer lies somewhere in the middle.”

 

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