TMCnet Feature
October 03, 2012

Leveraging PaaS to Fast-Track Applications

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

As the cloud matures, its true power comes to light in the way it enables a new breed of extremely lightweight businesses, unencumbered by capital investments and legacy systems and that leverages the cloud to speed the development and delivery of innovative products. The ecosystem surrounding the cloud is expanding with the introduction of new technologies such as Platform- as -a -Service (PaaS), which makes the job of developing new applications easier than ever.

Industry experts gathered at Cloud4SMB Expo in Austin on Oct. 3 to examine how PaaS offerings are transforming businesses and how businesses of any size can best implement a cloud-based system or app that leverages open source, along with best practices for building apps and your business on a Cloud 2.0 platform in order to increase responsiveness, agility and decrease costs.

During the session, “Leveraging PaaS to Fast-Track Your Applications,” experts discussed how Platform as a Service is also simplifying business.

“For us, Platform as a Service helps us provide better data integrations. For us PaaS has helped us transform internally how we build our applications,” said Vinay Pai, vice president of Intuit (News - Alert).

“What we are doing, we are leveraging partners that have a certain skill set,” said Nadine Manjaro, M2M and cloud computing consultant at Verizon (News - Alert) Wireless. “We enable them with key features they will need quickly so they can roll that out to the field in a matter of days or weeks as opposed to months or years. I think over time you will hear more about that story and that strategy.”

When you are looking at Platform- as- a -Service or even Software- as -a -Service, the biggest challenge is the technology but also the mindset, Pai noted. In terms of strategy, organizations need to consider which applications and platforms that they do not need to build themselves.

“For us, it’s all of our HR applications – there is a certain class of applications we are not going to build. How do you integrate that data and that integration is what we are using Platform as a Service for,” Nai said.

With machine to machine communications is one area where Platform- as- a -Service is helping propel other industries to utilize cloud-based services – even industries that have not typically utilized such technologies, such as agriculture, Manjaro added, which is using M2M to test soil, for example.

“Because of the different verticals, everything has to be customized,” she said.

Security concerns continue to plague IT decision makers at businesses of all sizes, not just midmarket or large enterprises.

“We see the same security concerns from all sizes, even from small businesses,” Pai said. “We have multiple levels of security. It’s important for all size businesses.”

In terms of adoption, early adopters of cloud-based services such as PaaS are consumer Internet users, according to Pai.

“You look at Facebook (News - Alert) or online banking that has driven the consumer behavior which is that everyone is expecting to have data everywhere,” he added. “The kind of trends we are seeing in the U.S. we are starting to see all over the world. There is still a little reluctance about putting all data in the cloud, but we are getting there.”

Want to learn more about cloud computing solutions geared specifically towards small to medium-sized businesses? Don’t miss the Cloud4SMB Expo, collocated with ITEXPO Austin 2012 happening now in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at Cloud4SMB Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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