Five reasons why enterprises are adopting PaaS

|May 11, 2015 0

Mitesh Agarwal

Cloud computing has become a critical component of enterprise IT strategy and most businesses have adopted cloud computing to some degree. However they are still struggling to attain the agility critical to their success. And one of the major reasons for this is that development, testing, and deployment environments for new software projects take weeks or even months to set up, so the pace of innovation for any organisation slows.

At the same time, costs rise as capacity is added during each phase of the application lifecycle and then goes unused during other times. Even maintaining the database and middleware that support new application development and deployment environments can become so time-consuming that IT has little opportunity to update or extend existing applications.

To address these challenges, enterprises are now turning to platform as a service (PaaS) to test, design, develop, and deploy applications quickly without the time and financial commitments inherent with buying and managing the underlying hardware and software.

Organizations that adopt PaaS gain the following:

Reduced Operational Costs

One major benefit of PaaS is cost reduction. PaaS enables companies to shift software development costs from capital expenditures to operational ones, thanks to the service-oriented, pay-as-you-go cloud delivery model that enables businesses to scale their environments according to need. Organizations using PaaS offerings have reported operational savings of up to 50 percent compared to having individual project teams manage their own silo’ed technology stacks. The cost savings most commonly come from standardized and consolidated resources (e.g., servers), as well as elimination of redundant work across teams.

Faster, More Efficient Development Cycles

To deploy a new application on premises, IT has to procure, install, and configure hardware, a database, an application server, and a development environment. The entire process from understanding the requirement and procuring hardware to setting it up takes weeks or even months before a developer can start writing one line of code for their custom application or deploying a pre-built application.

With a comprehensive PaaS solution, months can be reduced to hours. IT can free up time and investments by outsourcing a layer that is very process-bound and bureaucratic on premises. By moving to an on demand and completely automated mode, developers can start building the application or deploying the application or data in as little as an hour.

Capacity on Demand

The third advantage is that PaaS delivers capacity on demand. When application workloads fluctuate, PaaS scales up and down to better match supply and demand.

A large sports and marketing organization needed to deliver different social media campaigns to its audiences. Its customer demand was high during the active sports season, and very low at other times of the year. Procuring and maintaining on-premises infrastructure and software with such fluctuations would have been costly and time-consuming. By switching to PaaS, the company could rent the infrastructure, platform, and software out of the box in the cloud, with service-level guarantees and no longer had to worry about maintaining the set-up when business demand was low.

Portability Between Platforms

For companies with a hybrid cloud—for example, developmental testing in the public cloud and mission-critical production on premises—portability between all platforms is essential. For example, a major logistics company was running very large, complex, mission-critical applications on premises in its data centres. Its development environments were taking a long time to create and deploy. In order to gain a faster, more agile development environment, the company adopted PaaS. It was able to move the same software, database, application server, and software it was already using for development, with the identical standards, to the cloud quickly.

The switch to PaaS enabled them to make changes and extend their on-premises applications. Now they can do all of their development testing in the cloud with the identical software that they’re running on premises, mitigating the risk associated with moving across different platforms for the cloud.

Easier Mobile Application Development

We live in an app economy and mobile applications are increasingly becoming the touch-point of engagement between a brand and the consumer, between organisations and its employees. Imagine if you have to build an application that will allow your sales force to query a particular customer on the go. The app should be accessible on a variety of mobile devices, and should connect to your customer relationship management (CRM) system. What you will need is a development environment that not only gives you modern, standardized, integrated development tools and runtimes with it, but one that is also really smart about being able to integrate into your back-end services that you want to mobilize. A comprehensive, integrated PaaS offering will help you achieve that. It will enable you to build the app on top of your CRM environment, and customize it to your sales force’s needs.

The True Value of PaaS

We are moving toward an app economy and enterprises can no longer afford to wait for weeks and months to come up with the next best app that meets a customer or business need. Agility, cost, speed of deployment, and time to market are important competitive differentiators. The value proposition of PaaS lies in being able to address these asks and will see greater adoption in the future.

(The author is Group Head – Sales Consulting & CTO, Oracle India)

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