One of the most prominent technology trends during the last decade is the rise of the “everything-as-a-service” business model. PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) belongs to this category. By providing an agile and cloud-based alternative to traditional on-prem platforms, PaaS has effectively revolutionized the way many organizations operate.
Demand for PaaS services is predicted to grow significantly in the coming years, as an increasing number of businesses migrate their IT operations to the cloud.
In this article, we’ll have a closer look at what PaaS is. We’ll list six of the most important business benefits, and we’ll explore six different use cases for PaaS.
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PaaS (Platform as a Service) Explained
PaaS is a cloud computing solution where the service provider delivers a platform to clients via a subscription model. By paying a monthly or yearly fee, clients get access to a platform that enables them to develop, manage, and run applications without creating and managing the infrastructure for them. The provider hosts both hardware and software, thus freeing you from installing and handling that in-house. This way, a lot of the heavy lifting and large initial investments are avoided, and your developing team can focus on your core business instead.
What Services Does PaaS Include?
PaaS usually includes multiple essential services, like application hosting or Java development. Some PaaS solutions entail design, development, testing, and deployment of applications. Other services can be web service integration, database integration, team collaboration, and security. All of this is owned, configured, operated, and maintained by the service provider. This relieves the clients’ IT departments of a heavy administrative burden and operational burden while presenting an attractive financial setup.
6 Business Benefits of PaaS
1) Fewer distractions and greater focus
A cloud-based PaaS solution provides developers with a stable groundwork and less overhead, so they can focus on building the code that adds value. PaaS solutions allow for higher-level programming with significantly reduced complexity. This means faster development and quicker delivery of new applications, an important competitive edge.
2) Improved scalability and rapid progress
When you’re using a PaaS solution, the infrastructure is already there, and you can easily ramp up or down. You don’t risk building yourself into a corner. Not having to worry about enhancing and maintaining your platform allows your team to focus on adding value – instead of laying the ground.
3) Lower costs
The cost of using a cloud-based PaaS solution is usually way lower than if a business would develop their own platform from scratch or use an on-premise solution. A common model is that you pay on a per-user basis, meaning you’re only paying for the capacity that you’re actually using.
4) Increased flexibility and ease of use
One of the general perks of cloud-based solutions is the flexibility, which is something that applies to PaaS as well. A PaaS solution also enables teams to collaborate on projects regardless of physical location.
5) From Capex to Opex
Before cloud tech became the norm, companies had to pay for their IT infrastructure in advance. They had to start projects with heavy investments, upfront, as a capital expense (CapEx). Cloud computing and as-a-service business models have changed that. With a PaaS solution, paying for your platform becomes a monthly or yearly operational expense (OpEx). That means less risk and greater agility.
6) Best practices included
PaaS tools come with best practices for application management that will help your developer team. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when the best practises incorporated in PaaS solutions can help you systematize and operate your applications.
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PaaS: 6 use cases
There is a multitude of use cases for PaaS, in a wide range of business contexts. Below are some of the most important ones, as listed by Gartner.
1) API Development and Management
PaaS is useful for companies that develop, run, and manage app programming interfaces and microservices. This also goes for the development of new APIs and end-to-end API management.
2) Business Intelligence and Analytics
PaaS tools allow for advanced analysis of business data, to identify patterns, make predictions, and ultimately make more qualified and data-driven decisions. PaaS tools can help companies predict behaviors and events so that they’re able to plan better.
3) Databases and Data Management
PaaS is suitable for setting up and managing an organization’s database. PaaS provides a scalable, secure, and on-demand platform for creating, administering, and maintaining databases. As research firm Forrester puts it: “The shift to the cloud for big data is on.”
4) Communication and Collaboration
One of the great things about PaaS is that it can be a delivery mechanism for communication and collaboration. This means that features like voice, chat, and videos can be added to applications built on the PaaS.
5) Worker Systems
A worker system is an essential part of any production-scale cloud application. The ability to run tasks in the background, process tasks at scale, or schedule jobs to run on regular schedules is crucial for handling the types of workloads and processing demands typical in a distributed application. The Ironworker platform is an example of PaaS making life easier for users.
6) Internet of Things
With the explosive growth in IoT (Internet of Things), PaaS will play an increasingly important role. PaaS supports various programming languages, application environments, and tools, allowing for the connectivity and integrations needed in IoT deployments.
As we’ve seen, PaaS brings many business benefits to a wide variety of use cases. The most important gains from adopting PaaS are the reduced cost and capital commitment, the reduced time-to-market for new applications, and the ease-of-use and convenience for your team in their everyday work. The 6 benefits we’ve looked at in this article can be summed up as follows:
- Fewer distractions and greater focus
- Improved scalability and rapid progress
- Lower costs and capital commitment
- Increased flexibility and ease of use
- Expenditure for the platform change from CapEx to Opex
- Best practices are included in the PaaS
We've also looked at 6 different use cases for PaaS:
- API Development and Management
- Business Intelligence and Analytics
- Data Bases and Data Management
- Communication and Collaboration
- Worker Systems
- IoT (Internet of Things)
In conclusion, PaaS tools offer an excellent vehicle for entering the cloud era and starting to leverage scalable services – while at the same time spending less. New use cases keep evolving, and judging from the adoption rate, companies who are not ready to embrace cloud computing will soon be struggling to stay competitive.
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