Jul 19, 2018

3 min

Cloud Computing: What Is PaaS And How It Can Benefit Enterprises?

The term ‘Cloud computing’ refers to using network or remote server hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data.  

Generally, the cloud service market is divided into three segments: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and, finally, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

Platform as a Service provides customers with access to a computing platform for application development. It may include an operating system, web servers, databases, and the access to one or more programming-languages environment.  

According to Statista, Salesforce is the major player in the PaaS segment.

Benefits for enterprises

Cloud computing services companies provide customers with a platform allowing them to develop, run, and manage applications without the need for an infrastructure.

Due to PaaS, applications can be developed and delivered faster. It is an important aspect for enterprises aiming at gaining competitive advantages and introducing new products on the market more quickly.

Furthermore, developers can use PaaS for testing new programming languages, operating systems, and data bases without having to create a required infrastructure.

If it comes to new development technologies or tools, PaaS environment helps to simplify the upgrade process.

And, finally, PaaS compels developers to implement the latest Cloud technologies for their applications and use the related infrastructure more efficiently. Also, switch to agile development methods can be managed easier.

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Common application fields

The most traditional PaaS use case includes applications development and testing. However, in practice, there is a range of further application scenarios, as noticed by Gartner.

  • API development and management

Enterprises can use PaaS to develop, run, secure, and manage APIs and micro services.

According to Garter’s estimates, this involves the development of new APIs and extension of existing APIs with new interfaces, as well as end-to-end API management.

  • Business Analytics and Intelligence

Tools available via PaaS allow enterprises analyzing data and recognizing behavioral patterns. Thus, they can enhance decision making, be more agile in response to business demands.

  • Business Process Management

PaaS environment often provides an access to a BPM platform delivered together with other cloud services. BPM suits integrate several IT components required by enterprises for business processes management.

  • Communications

Enterprises can use PaaS to provide communication platforms, so developers get an opportunity to integrate such features as voice, video or messaging.

  • Data bases

PaaS providers deliver services enabling companies to set up and maintain a data bank.

Forrester brings the term ‘database-as-a-service’ into play.

The research firm defines database-as-a-service as ‘on-demand, secure, and scalable self-service databases that automate provisioning and administration to support new and existing applications and systems of insight.’

  • IoT

IoT will be very likely one of the major fields for PaaS application in the coming future. Already today, there is a range of application environments, programming languages, and tools for various IoT scenarios.

  • Master data management

This category includes governance processes, policies, standards and tools that enterprises use to manage their critical business data. PaaS providers offer their services ensuring a uniform view on company’s basic data, e.g. information on customer transactions.

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IoT and PaaS

IoT is expected to play a special role in this context.

According to Gartner, the adoption of IoT is driving the use of PaaS. It is expected that by 2020 more than 50 percent of new applications developed on PaaS will be IoT-centric.

Furthermore, Gartner predicts that during this year more than 70 percent of IT organizations will deploy a container service instead of PaaS framework software.

Concurrently, enterprises investing in cloud platforms are striving for some or all benefits.  However, the majority of them will not achieve the expectations within 2018.

By the next year, high-productivity and high-control PaaS options will be a standard capability for the leading PaaS providers.