Platform as a Service: The Nucleus of Business Agility

Business growth remains a top priority for CEOs as the world is being consumed by software. CEOs wanting to grow their businesses is not news; what’s news is how they should plan to do it.

According to a new study by Gartner, businesses that leverage new software development are likely to be more profitable than their competitors.

Software development is not just an emerging trend; it is a turning point to jumpstart a new platform – Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). If used effectively, PaaS could be a powerful tool for agility in order to survive, compete, and thrive in today’s high-speed markets.

PaaS as a Turning Point

In a highly networked world with massive data, software is a preferred way for companies to do business and communicate with their customers and peers. Businesses across all industries need to reposition themselves around PaaS as a turning point for survival and growth.

PaaS is a cutting-edge software technology that ensures high-speed application development and deployment. It could lay the foundation of a network of software that can be customized according to the needs of business. Data, applications, speed, business intelligence, and analytics can all be put together in one platform so that businesses can grow dynamically to meet the changing needs of doing business and servicing customers.

PaaS as an Agent for Innovation

PaaS is basically a middle layer platform of tools, software, and middleware used to create applications delivered over the Web on-demand. It is a cost-effective and convenient way of developing, testing, and introducing new and better solutions more quickly than traditional methods.

PaaS engages application developers. Installing infrastructure, operating systems, application servers, adequate storage, and backup systems take time. PaaS substantially shortens the application development cycle because everything is automated. This engages developers to focus on their core responsibility of speedy application delivery.

PaaS saves time and money. Optimizing development time makes organizations more aggressive in introducing new solutions and products. If the cost for application development is reduced, ROI could be more robust. This encourages businesses to take more chances to constantly find more opportunities for growth.

Paas enables the delivery of unique value. Many business applications–including HR, CRM, ERP, and accounting systems–are often commoditized solutions that allow no differentiation from those of other organizations. If a company wants to stand out and deliver unique value, it needs a new kind of platform like PaaS to create custom applications for the company’s unique requirements.

PaaS enhances customer satisfaction. PaaS not only speedily builds and delivers applications; it also monitors and analyzes information on usage and user experience. It thus allows the rollout of fast and new updates to continually enhance customer satisfaction.

Paas allows unlimited cloud service choices. Being portable and flexible, applications managed in a PaaS environment can be moved and scaled across a variety of platforms. The ability to mix and match resources and applications based on unique business requirements gives businesses the freedom of choice for the cloud platforms they need.

Innovation Matters

Businesses that relegate innovation to the backseat are doomed to disappear.

Consumer electronics is one of the most vulnerable categories–as evidenced by old brands dying and new brands coming in. For instance, point-and-shoot cameras are a fading breed because of the entrance of smartphones that have innovative cameras. Print media is also on a slow death due to the legacy costs of printing and distribution compared to its online competitors.

Some brands in retail, manufacturing, hospitality, health, and education that continue to fall behind in innovation face the real threat of extinction. PaaS is your best bet if you don’t want your business to follow suit.

Risks in the Cloud

The cloud has made possible computing conveniences like scalable storage of data and applications, faster collaboration, unified communications, virtualization, co-location, mobility, and speedy disaster recovery. However, behind the cloud are risks that may impact organizations if these risks are not properly assessed and managed.

IT research firm Gartner advises that the inherent attributes of cloud computing require a comprehensive assessment of potential risks. Telecom agents, businesses, and any organization using the cloud should consider these  risks when migrating to the cloud:

Security and data integrity

Security continues to be a major obstacle to embracing the cloud. It is crucial for agents and businesses to make sure that cloud vendors they are dealing with are reliable and can be trusted. Once data is migrated to the cloud, how can the service provider guarantee the security of such data? Are encryption and access control mechanisms in place?

In addition, ask about how many tenants have shared access. What type of authentication and authorization is required for privileged users? All of these questions are important to answer when migrating to the cloud.

Data location

Due to the universal nature of the cloud, cloud service providers can store and process data in any jurisdiction that allows them to do so. Not knowing the virtual or physical location of your data can be an issue. Customers have the right to know where their data is going to be stored so that they may be apprised of any local regulatory compliance requirements in the selected host state or country.

Framework reliability and compatibility

Existing operating framework should not clash with the chosen cloud services. Some changes in the current IT infrastructure may be necessary to make the new framework compatible with the cloud. Inferior framework reliability may lead to issues during peak periods, restricted access to important information, or unworkable administration tools.

Shared access vulnerabilities

Shared access or multitenancy is a common feature of the public cloud. It involves the sharing of the same computing resources, including storage, CPU, memory, and physical infrastructure. The shared setup is open to the leaking of private data to other tenants.

Researchers have started exploring the vulnerabilities of shared access and found that they have been able to peek into other tenants’ IP addresses and memory space. A few have been able to access another tenant’s computing resources. Gartner adds that multitenancy may be a big risk in the future if safeguards are not applied.

Disaster recovery

Gartner asserts that any cloud computing option that does not replicate data and application infrastructure in multiple sites is doomed to fail. Telecom agents and businesses need to make sure that their chosen cloud partners have the capability to perform complete recovery in the fastest time possible after a disaster.

Lack of standardization

A completely standardized cloud environment has yet to be implemented. Differentiating offerings can lead to major infrastructure changes that can be costly, time consuming, and manpower-intensive.

Long-term viability

Customers need to get assurance from their service providers that they will be able to provide additional services for their future growth requirements. More importantly, customers need to get the commitment of their providers that their data will remain available in case the latter goes bankrupt or is acquired by another company.

Computing has never been the same since the cloud began hovering over the technology world. Understanding vendor options and various cloud offerings in relation to a business’s unique needs is a good first step to know what risks to avoid.