What is PaaS? - Platform as a Service Explained
Platform as a Service or PaaS is a set of cloud-based services that enable business users and developers to build applications at a speed that on-premise solutions cannot match. As it’s a cloud-based service there’s no need to worry about the set-up and maintenance of servers, patching, upgrades, authentication so users can focus on creating the best user experience possible.
PaaS also delivers a set of additional services such as workflow and design tools and rich APIs all intended to help business users and developers create applications that delight their users.
Successful companies in today's business world are the ones that put the customer at the centre of what they do. One easy way to facilitate that is by providing customer-friendly web applications and services that enable high-quality service and support. So for companies developing apps why opt for a platform as a service, instead of creating the facilities to do this on your the premises?
Why do businesses move to PaaS?
In the past, businesses started by building and developing their own apps. This demanded server space, software to create programming environments and security to keep everything safe on the premises. That often meant complex software stacks, frequent updates, hardware maintenance and investing a lot of money in an on-premise environment to help them build apps become out-dated very quickly. All in all, an expensive solution in terms of both time and money.
Development tools evolve fast and suddenly you're using yesterday’s interface and yesterday’s technology. Businesses started looking for solutions to help speed up the process and make it cheaper and easier to create the apps they needed. The first to seek more efficient options were businesses already outsourcing other areas of computing services – such as cloud-based software services for recruitment, marketing, or travel and expense management. They looked for an external answer to their internal problem.
PaaS helps developers and business users focus on build great apps with clicks & code without having to worry about infrastructure and operating systems. Development tools, servers and programming environments are readily accessible, via the cloud, without the complexity and expense of creating them in-house. Apps can be developed and hosted faster and with very low setup costs, without the risk of delays or inefficiencies caused by infrastructure issues. Put simply, PaaS allows developers to concentrate on what they do best, so they can produce high-quality results, faster.
PaaS is part of a family of cloud computing tools which includes Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Everything as a Service (XaaS). The cloud computing model allows organisations to outsource computing services so they can dedicate more energy to their core business.
Characteristics of PaaS
Moving to a managed platform allows your technical team to concentrate on building apps and services that add value to your business. A good PaaS provider can offer you improvements in:
App development is faster because your IT and developers are no longer responsible for the hardware and software used to build, maintain and protect your application development platform.
It’s also quicker to get started. Once you have signed up to PaaS, you can start using the system straight away – no set-up time lag. For developers, being able to access tools, templates, code libraries and build packs can also reduce the time to release. For example, you can begin to create powerful apps from drag-and-drop components including standard fields, reports and charts.
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Business benefits of PaaS
Easy integration with legacy systems
Easier IT maintenance
PaaS vs traditional app development
The future of PaaS:
PaaS is driving a new era of mass innovation and business agility. It shares the same innovative roots as companies like Amazon, eBay, Google and YouTube, who created new capabilities in new markets through the browser. PaaS offers the same kind of cost-effective and specialised model for application development and delivery. For the first time, developers can focus on application expertise for their business, not managing complex hardware and software infrastructure.
As the digital environment matures, a number of drivers are strengthening the rationale for adopting cloud computing.
- The increasing standardisation of digital technologies
- Greater business use of mobile and mobile apps
- Growing popularity and usage of web-like interfaces
- Increasing broadband access and speed
There also is a trend for companies to continue to outsource by looking towards IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and XaaS (Everything as a Service) solutions to replace what would have traditionally been supplied locally and PaaS is one aspect of creating a complete solution.
Why the time is right for PaaS
You can grow your business faster by streamlining internal processes and connecting better with customers and suppliers. A platform approach means solutions will be more secure, faster and better value for money. Many enterprises are now looking to outsource non-core services, and they’re choosing PaaS because:
- The technology is mature ‐ the ability to automate processes and use pre-defined components and building blocks makes the PaaS proposition attractive for businesses who need consistency and reliability
- Flexibility is paramount ‐ businesses need to be fleet of foot to compete – and using platform services allows for innovation, scalability and affordability for every size of enterprise.
- The business benefits add up ‐ the advantages of cost savings, speed of development and security offer real advantages that are hard for businesses to replicate using internal systems. Without these savings, the development costs of creating apps that keep pace with the market is fast becoming prohibitive.
Outsourcing software is a proven solution – and PaaS is a natural next step. If your business is focused on future growth, PaaS is not just an option worth considering – it’s an essential tool to have at your disposal.
That’s a lot of info!
Here’s what you should take away from this article:
- What is Platform as a Service (PaaS)? PaaS is a cloud-based service (“platform”) that allows business users to quickly build customer-friendly applications.
- How does PaaS work? PaaS supplies the technology to develop and host customised apps without the need for complex in-house infrastructure and operating systems.
- Which services does PaaS offer? PaaS services include fully managed and scalable cloud databases, point-and-click app building, multi-language support and mobile software development kits (SDK).
- What are the technical advantages of PaaS? PaaS offers technical advantages such quicker app development, reduced upfront costs and flexible scalability.
- What are some of the business benefits? Business benefits range from improved workflows and real-time data updates to reduced IT overheads and shared user insights.
- What does the future hold for PaaS? In future, PaaS is set to enable greater innovation and business agility as technology continues to advance.
- Why is now the time to choose PaaS? A platform approach delivers streamlined, reliable, more secure, faster and better value software solutions for large and small organisations alike.