Enterprise mobility, as well as increased dependence upon digital technologies, have led to the era of applications, as this trend began several years ago and continues to expand rapidly amid increased demand for customized software and services among businesses. Entrepreneurs who did not have IT departments with expertise in coding and other software development matters once had to purchase the tools from external sources, which was not necessarily a bad arrangement, but certainly not the most efficient one.
Now, cloud services have transformed the ways in which companies can procure and deploy applications on an everyday basis, most notably Platform-as-a-Service. While many companies will use Software-as-a-Service for these needs, which is currently the largest component of the cloud computing market, PaaS is enabling customization and creation among even the smallest of businesses, disrupting the software industry and improving prospects for the average organization.
Small business owners can gain a variety of strategic advantages by developing and deploying their own applications, especially when the strategy is aligned with corporate objectives and targeted at specific operational needs. When looking to provision PaaS products for application development, small business owners should consider some of the tools that will be most helpful in driving productivity and efficiency throughout operations.
First, a rundown of PaaS
PaaS is a hosted service that enables the development and manipulation of applications, acting as the middle portion of stacked technologies that is founded on Infrastructure-as-a-Service and topped by SaaS. Essentially, PaaS will replace the need for expensive equipment purchases on hardware, servers and platforms that need to be in place for an application to function and live, while adding to the efficiency of corporate expenditures.
Like other cloud computing services, PaaS will reduce the strain that is placed on IT departments from configuration, maintenance and oversight standpoints, as the various technologies involved will be managed externally by the vendor. This leaves the IT department open to focusing on more strategic matters, such as dreaming up new ideas for software and then putting them into motion more rapidly than before possible.
With all of the trends that are driving demand for applications, it is not surprising that PaaS is the fastest growing market segment of the cloud computing industry, outpacing IaaS and SaaS. Notably, SaaS will likely be the most commonly used type of cloud services for decades to come, as it has an enormous lead over its counterparts, but PaaS is expected to continue growing rapidly in the coming years.
PaaS in the future
Whereas the first types of PaaS to be released were almost exactly the same as the equipment that it replaced, specifically from a management and maintenance standpoint, the tools involved are becoming more intuitive and accessible with the passing of each day. Cloud computing vendors and developers have found ways to enhance the experience with PaaS so much that certain products will not even require a background in coding to get software created.
This means that small business owners who have a degree in finance, for example, will be able to create their own apps without ever having to research or take coursework in coding. While this stage of PaaS is still to come, as the majority of options available on the market today will still require expertise in application development, the future is bright for companies that are looking to overhaul their IT frameworks and step into the modern market.
Today, entrepreneurs should consider beginning the planning and strategy creation aspects of application management and development, then work to align their needs with PaaS and other cloud options.