PaaS has become a new battleground for IT vendors
Platform as a service (PaaS) is becoming a hot topic for an increasing number of enterprises. Such platforms help them to transform their existing IT landscapes and to develop and deploy new web-based services and mobile apps. As ‘cloud middleware’ PaaS supports the development, testing and running of applications, as well as the provision of database systems, data analysis systems and appropriate tools. Other key aspects are the integration and orchestration of various cloud services as well as the connection of in-house operated software systems to cloud services. With IoT, these platforms become even more relevant. PAC has published a market insight about PaaS (Platform as a Service (PaaS): A Strategic Review of Trends and Major Vendors - Market InSight - Worldwide).
This is one of the reasons why this market is very dynamic. It consists of four main vendor types: pure cloud vendors, software vendors, IT services providers and telecom providers.
We believe that, although the platform providers continue to add services, just one single platform may not cover all requirements of large enterprises. Therefore, many companies will likely use different platforms in parallel.
The vendors we profile in our report – among which are Oracle, Red Hat, SAP, IBM, Google, AWS, Salesforce and Microsoft – all follow different strategies in terms of scope of services and portfolio structure. Some support different deployment options such as public and private cloud. While not profiled in this report, it is at least worth mentioning that Linux distributor SUSE is becoming a PaaS player as well. SUSE has taken over the OpenStack and Cloud Foundry portfolio of HPE.
While some platforms support the development of web-based applications very well, others additionally provide a lot of preconfigured services that can be deployed. This may be one selection criterion for companies.
What companies and IT service providers should consider
When selecting PaaS, companies should consider topics such as the development, deployment and management capabilities as well as the scalability and regional availability of the services a platform offers. Other topics to look at are integration and security.
IT services providers should define a strategy for PaaS as the market is shifting towards the cloud and because PaaS-related services are a promising market for providers. The platform strategy for IT services providers should consider the rising demand for both IT transformation with the help of the cloud as well as the delivery of innovative web-based services to support new business models. This strategy may consider partnerships with different platform providers. Given the volatile market, new options for such alliances are going to arise.