In the last month, I’ve seen a significant uptick in Platform as a Service (PaaS) related activity in the field. The market is heating up and organizations are quickly realizing that PaaS is the best way to achieve developer agility, increased productivity, and corporate-wide innovation. But there is something interesting happening as well, with conversations moving from “What is PaaS and what is its value?” to “How do I roll out your PaaS in production?”
At Apprenda, we’ve always believed that in order for a PaaS to be adopted across the enterprise and not just by a forward-looking team, you need to provide the right level of control and compliance and acknowledge that organizations don’t simply throw away their IT eco-system and start from scratch. What is exciting is that organizations are also learning firsthand the value of an operationally-ready PaaS, whether it is from failed pilot projects or a growth in the understanding and criticality of PaaS.
I want to share three specific cases from my last two weeks in the field in which these concepts became clear:
A prospect explained how the organization he is working with develops applications that rely on corporate record systems (think SAP and others). So naturally, applications running on the PaaS need to be able to communicate with them. At Apprenda, we understand that a PaaS can’t operate as an island in your data center, so we allow applications running on it to communicate with external services that are not necessarily running on it. You can’t expect your customers to throw away millions of dollars in investments because they chose PaaS. You should drive the overall value of the ecosystem instead.
The Apprenda model allows our customers to provision the infrastructure to run the platform anywhere and however they like. We will simply run on top of that. This makes our platform slightly more complex to architect but much more valuable and easier to implement on our customer’s side.
When planning out an Apprenda installation, there are no concerns whether security policies or network configurations will be bypassed or whether exceptions are needed in order to operate it. Allowing our customers to provision and operate the platform with the tools, policies and workflows they feel comfortable with is of huge value to them and allows Apprenda to be deployed all the way to production across all development teams in the organization.
Apprenda is built in a way that empowers both developers and IT teams to successfully and easily do their jobs. We understand that each side provides value to the organization and can’t simply be automated out of the process. Providing organizations with the ability to put the operational safeguards in place, monitoring and securing the platform is critical in moving a PaaS from the innovation lab to the production data center across the organization.
As your PaaS evaluation journey matures, make sure you are asking the right questions in how to bring your new solution from an innovation lab to your production data center. It is critical to understand not only how PaaS helps one development team stay agile, but also how it enables your organization to say ahead of the game by empowering every stakeholder to do what they do best.