Wired Magazine | February 3, 2014

Software-Defined Enterprises Are the Future


Image: Manager Web/Flickr

Image: Manager Web/Flickr

Over the past year, private Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) gained significant adoption by large corporations, building momentum that will exponentially increase in 2014. Organizations across a variety of industries turned cloud into reality through PaaS after realizing the benefits including faster application development, reduced costs, and the ability to turn software into a revenue-generating business.

One example of a large company that adopted PaaS in 2013 is JPMorgan Chase. Given the scale and growth of JPMorgan Chase’s application portfolio, the bank concluded that it could reap significant time and money savings by modernizing its IT investments to operate as a private PaaS. The platform is now used by over 430 development teams across the bank, having more than 2,000 .NET and Java applications running live, with close to 600 of those applications deployed to Apprenda within the first 12 months of production.

In addition to realizing its many benefits, companies recognized how new PaaS technology that adapts to how they currently operate, particularly when it comes to development languages, is a necessary requirement. Enterprises realized that PaaS needs to support more traditional enterprise coding languages such as .NET and Java, rather than limited to startup-centric languages Ruby on Rails or Python, in order to be successful.

Emerging trends in mobile, hybrid cloud architecture, and software-defined products will continue to drive mainstream PaaS adoption as enterprises seek cloud solutions that meet or exceed needs for cost savings, business agility and data security. This presents an exciting time for companies to take advantage of the cloud by transitioning to a private or hybrid cloud model.

Looking Ahead to 2014

According to GigaOM Research, the PaaS market is predicted to reach more than 20 billion dollars in 2014. With expected exponential growth on the horizon, many opportunities exist surrounding emerging trends in hybrid-cloud architecture, mobile, and software-defined anything that will drive PaaS adoption in the enterprise.

  • Hybrid cloud: This will be top of mind for CIOs in 2014 as enterprises evolve from cloud hype to reality. While public cloud has received the lion’s share of hype in recent years, real enterprise cloud adoption starts with private cloud and transitions to public through a hybrid approach. As the primary demand of every enterprise, hybrid makes using the cloud possible and serves as a good transition for companies with all types of security needs.
  • Mobile: In 2013, enterprises were not building new workflows for mobile but were instead offering web-based apps. With its ease of use, PaaS will strengthen mobile development in 2014. PaaS enables companies to take existing workflows and expose them in a way that is secure and easy, resulting in more agile and streamlined mobile app development.
  • Software-defined anything: To compete and be more relevant, companies must evaluate how they can add revenue streams through software. Companies such as Diebold, Nike, and Tesla have already begun experimenting with ways to improve operational efficiency and transform their services with software and have been met with great success. Aware that tremendous potential exists to increase net margins, improve customer acquisition, and enhance customer loyalty, companies will continue exploring new ways of generating software-based revenue.

The Future Lies in Software-Defined Enterprises

An exciting opportunity exists for organizations to revolutionize their business model by establishing software as a core strategy, enabled by private or hybrid cloud solutions. To maintain a competitive advantage, CIOs should continue tracking trends in hybrid cloud, mobile development, cloud governance and compliance, big data, and cloud-based business intelligence.By keeping up with trends and identifying the value in becoming a software-defined enterprise, CIOs can transform their businesses while reducing costs, increasing business agility and safeguarding data security.