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MesheconomyCloud ComputingPlatform as a Service (PaaS)

Parent Category: Platform as a Service (PaaS)

With the emergence of software as a service (SaaS) over the past decade, many software vendors and companies have accelerated their development of new applications hosted and delivered via the Web.

But until recently, software developers creating a SaaS offering has had to build their own hosting and service delivery infrastructure. That has all changed in the past few years with the rise of platform-as-a-service. PaaS is the online equivalent of conventional computing platforms, providing a ready-made infrastructure on which a software developer can rapidly build and deliver a SaaS application.

While many are still somewhat wary of binding their fate to that of an emerging platform provider, the utilization of PaaS can lead to dramatic reductions in development costs and timescales. By lowering barriers to entry and shortening time-to-market, PaaS supercharges SaaS, accelerating the pace of innovation and intensifying competition.

The advent of PaaS will entirely change the game for software development – not only for those who choose to introduce SaaS offerings, but also those who remain wedded to conventionally licensed, customer-operated software products. PaaS changes the competitive landscape as follows

  • Dramatically faster innovation cycles. PaaS implements 
    the iterative, continuous improvement upgrade model of 
    SaaS, allowing developers to monitor and respond to 
    customer usage and feedback, and rapidly incorporate the 
    latest functionality into their own applications.
  • Hugely lowered price points. The shared, pay-as-you-go, 
    elastic infrastructure of PaaS slashes developers’ costs 
    across multiple dimensions, resulting in massively reduced 
    development and operations costs. This then enables a lower
    pricepoints for software developed using this approach.
  • New players from lowered barriers to entry. 
    The low costs to get started on a PaaS provider’s 
    infrastructure attract huge numbers of market entrants who 
    would not be able to fund their own infrastructure, 
    significantly increasing innovation and competition.
  • New business models, propositions, partner channels 
    and routes to market.
     The ‘as-a-service’ business model 
    opens up new ways of offering products and bringing them 
    to market, many of them highly disruptive to established 
    models. The components necessary to deploy a software solution
    (hosting, management, billing, middleware, front-end, and other)
    can all be decoupled from eachother. 

It is imperative for any large scale software development effort to understand and evaluate the impact of PaaS on their business model. Key to that understanding is to recognize that PaaS is more than just another platform. It’s a new kind of platform. The dynamics of PaaS are different than conventional software platforms. Developers should beware of assessing PaaS alternatives on criteria that are no longer valid when applied to PaaS.

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