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Private PaaS Deployment: Challenge, Culture and Control

By Matt Ammerman8.26.13

There are a variety of challenges to roll out PaaS technology within an enterprise. One of the largest of these challenges is the fact that PaaS interacts with so many different areas in IT. PaaS is supported by DBAs, security personnel, networking people and server admins, to name a few: all people whose jobs involve very specific areas, and all teams that must buy-in to the enterprise’s PaaS strategy.

No organization-wide technology, save for perhaps the PC operating system, touches so many assets in an effort to coordinate and 1630273consolidate IT.  Existing policy and regulations hold true, but it’s a little different.  All of the benefits that developers see, accelerated deployment, for example—it’s necessary to accomplish them while adhering to the predetermined policies and regulations that IT folks enforce. The challenge, therefore, is more of a cultural one.

In terms of Adoption…

When we talk about ISV’s using the platform, the biggest benefits they see aren’t necessarily the deployment. This is because they’ll be focused on the SDLC of one SaaS application (or perhaps a suite of services). This is overly simplified, of course, but my point is that SDLCthey don’t have an app portfolio that is 5,000-deep, like some enterprises. The biggest thing for them is upstack value, which is the SaaS-enablement capabilities that Apprenda’s PaaS provides: multitenancy, authentication and modernization systems, metering API, etc.

Going to an ISV and telling them “You don’t have to build a system that is going to track how much of each feature of your application your users are using, you’re just going to use our API and say: I want you tell me how many times a user does X with Y.” That’s huge, because they’re often the type of company that’s operating under the gun to make their tech available before competitors get to the market. In short, the more they have to do, the longer it’s going to take.This is why it’s appealing for ISVs to look at Apprenda’s PaaS and say “well, I’ll just let the platform do that work.”

Enterprise, behave!

1551040Clearly, the motivators for adopting PaaS are different in an enterprise setting.  Culturally, however, PaaS is a tool to help enterprise developers behave more like they work for an ISV. A successful PaaS roll-out in a large IT shop is one that flattens the hurdles that exist in today’s enterprise IT by adhering to disparate IT teams’ concerns, policies, workflows, and more – all so that developers don’t have to for each and every app they deploy. With PaaS in place, the software development culture within an enterprise will start to change. Developers will do more, faster, and in most cases with less. PaaS is a tool that lets IT support this cultural shift while still staying in their “comfort zone” and meeting the company’s IT imperatives.

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Matt Ammerman

Matt Ammerman is the Global Client CTO at Apprenda, the leading enterprise Platform as a Service. Matt's number one priority is Apprenda’s customers. He leads the team at Apprenda that is responsible for teaching and supporting enterprises through training programs and professional service packages so they can make the most out of their Apprenda-based PaaS and Kubernetes projects.

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