PaaS is not just some esoteric, ‘techie’ subject – it’s going to change the world
Type ‘Platform as a Service’ into Google and you’re met with a long list of technical explanations describing the technology and how it works – most of which are fairly dry, largely uninspiring and surprisingly unenlightening.
This is symptomatic of a wider problem with the way Platform as a Service – or PaaS – is often discussed: there’s too much debate about what it is rather than what it does.
Of course that isn’t a problem if you, like me, get a kick from technology, but it’s doing PaaS a major disservice. Once you take a step back from the IT side and focus on the business benefits PaaS actually delivers, it quickly becomes apparent that it’s one of the most exciting developments in the cloud.
This is because PaaS holds the key to digital transformation. It’s the underlying technology that allows businesses to rapidly build and customize innovative web applications so they can revolutionize the way they work internally and deliver innovative new services to their customers.
Let’s look at some of the – frankly amazing – things it can bring about for business:
1. Insurance giant AIG is currently exploring how drones can be used to improve its service. It’s testing whether drones can be used during natural disasters to record footage that can then be used to settle claims faster. This is a great example of the sort of highly-innovative, experimental application development and testing that PaaS can enable.
2. In agriculture, America’s Monsanto is looking beyond its chemicals expertise and moving into computing. The company is driving innovation with technologies that gather and process information relevant to farmers, like sensor arrays that enable each and every corn kernel to be planted at the perfect depth and in the most fertile part of a field. This is exactly the sort of transformational innovation that can be enabled by PaaS.
3. Meanwhile, PaaS is helping organizations in the healthcare industry develop a wide range of applications to help people stay healthy. Take National Pharmacies in Australia, which has developed an app to help patients better manage prescriptions, alerting them automatically when a prescription needs to be picked up and providing a record of past transactions.
These three use cases have one thing in common: innovation. PaaS is the perfect driver for innovation within businesses, as it gives businesses the agility they need for rapid web development. Rather than market-testing a new application – whether that is insurance drones or healthcare apps – businesses can now take the resources they need as a service from the cloud. They pay only for what they require, and can use pre-existing development tools to realize their ideas. This can be done without the costs and risks associated with traditional IT projects, and the platform can co-exist with the existing infrastructure that serves the day-to-day running of the business. So powerful is PaaS in driving innovation, that at last year’s Oracle OpenWorld we predicted that by 2025 all application development and testing will move to the cloud.
With the potential to have such a large impact on how businesses approach IT, PaaS is certainly the future for any company that is serious about innovating and winning market share – and that makes it an exciting technology indeed.
I’ve now shown you some of the things PaaS can do, but I imagine many people still want a deeper dive on how it actually helps businesses achieve these things. If that’s the case, feel free to download our PaaS guide.