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Forget About PaaS. It's About Enabling Applications

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Forget About PaaS. It's About Enabling Applications

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 Over the last couple of years I have talked to numerous enterprise customers, analysts, industry pundits, and others interested in cloud technologies, and one thing is abundantly clear…Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) seems to mean different things to different people. But the term PaaS is irrelevant--it's just noise. What is relevant, and what is important, is what PaaS does: enable applications! That's what enterprises care about. They want to accelerate application development to get products to market faster and into users' hands sooner.

I believe it is vital to not get hung up on the term PaaS, but rather focus on how you or your organization can enable applications (legacy or greenfield) fast! There is definitely some confusion about what PaaS is. But at the end of the day, you can't let the label get in the way of realizing its benefits. PaaS makes it easier to enable applications on your cloud infrastructure or hypervisor. If you say to yourself, "There needs to be a simpler way because how we're doing it now is ridiculous… it doesn't get us to market fast enough," then you need to reassess your process and find a different way--a better way--to develop applications. It just so happens the best way to do this is with PaaS.

Finding a better way to enable applications means becoming what the research firm IDC calls a 3rd Platform company. The 3rd Platform is the confluence of the four major changes of IT: cloud, mobile, social, and big data. Companies need to ensure that their technology and organizational culture supports greater business agility, technical innovation and gives them the ability to deploy applications to any environment. PaaS is fundamental to achieving this.

Greater Business Agility

The pace of change is rampant and companies with traditional business models are being upset by the disrupters using the 3rd platform. To combat this, you need to incorporate technologies that give you the flexibility to react quickly to changes and preferences in the market. The technology must enable you to get your applications to market faster, encourage experimentation to facilitate rapid prototyping, and provide you with rapid feedback in order to stay ahead of the disrupters.

Part of being agile also means being flexible with whom you partner. You need to allow other organizations access to your applications so it's easier to integrate into their solutions; another facet of this need is the ability to expose APIs so third parties can integrate your functionality into their IoT product or mobile application.

Supporting Technical Innovation

Your business needs to be constantly innovating. You are mistaken if you don't think there is a new start up ready to take away your business. You need to support technical innovation and make sure that your application development process is flexible and automated. Waiting weeks or months to deploy a test application is not considered "rapid prototyping." It is essential companies provide developers with a technology in which they can use any language to build the application and also supports automated provisioning so they can deploy the application on their own without creating IT tickets.

However, quick experimentation and rapid prototyping means that sometimes mistakes happen. Therefore, it’s important that your technology can quickly roll back what's been deployed so you're minimally impacting application users.

Infrastructure Independence

Having the ability to deploy on any infrastructure or cloud is a necessary component to enabling applications. You need to react quickly to unpredictable workloads, so it's essential that you can move your applications from private to public cloud quickly, easily and without any special or additional configuration. Deploying to a broad range of environments is a requirement so you can use the best infrastructure (whether public, private, or hybrid) for each project.

Conclusion

You need a mix of all of these things in order to enable applications--and that's what Stackato delivers. While there is a natural tendency to slap a label on things so it's easily digestible, you can't get hung up on the term PaaS. What we are really talking about is a technology that enables faster application development by supporting greater agility, technical innovation and freedom to deploy to any environment. The world of applications is changing dramatically and Stackato is enabling that future. Stackato is about enabling applications.

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Published at DZone with permission of Bart Copeland, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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