Let’s start by defining a term that, like many cloud-related titles, has several meanings. According to Gartner, and its recent report that says the global Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) market will reach $1.2 billion by the end of this year, then bypass $1.3 billion next year, PaaS can take several forms. In its report, it includes the following under the PaaS umbrella:
- Application platforms as a service
- Integration platforms as a service
- Database platform as a service
- Business management platform as a service
- Messaging as a service
- Middleware as a cloud service
- Private cloud-based PaaS
You can see where the confusion comes in, right? Regardless, the good news is that this market is growing, albeit while still working its way toward maturity as a technology. So what does this mean for solution providers? When a technology, and its place in the market, is still unsteady, the channel often gets mixed messages and muddled promises from vendors battling for a piece of the pie. That can make it difficult for solution providers to identify the best solutions and uncover the best path for its PaaS strategy.
“Of all the cloud technological aspects, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) are the most mature and established from a competitive landscape perspective, while PaaS is the least evolved,” explained Fabrizio Biscotti, research director at Gartner, in the Gartner report. “For this reason, PaaS is where the battle between vendors and products is set to intensify the most. It comes as no surprise that the PaaS competitive landscape is still in flux, with traditional application infrastructure vendors facing competition from new large players moving into the market, and myriad specialized PaaS pure players cutting into their slice of profits.”
For those of you interesting in grabbing a piece of the PaaS pie, Gartner offers some insight on the opportunity that exists for the channel, noting that for some SMBs, PaaS offers the chance to take advantage of cutting-edge technologies that would otherwise be too expensive, and their adoption of PaaS will be rooted in SaaS.
Your best bet? Watch this technology mature over the next year, keeping your mind open to where and how PaaS might play in your customer base, and then start experimenting with new offerings in order to identify those stable technologies that you might want to add to your portfolio.
Want to hear another opinion on this? Check out the Channelnomics blog on the same topic.