What is PaaS?
Platform as a Service, or what is commonly referred to as PaaS, is a cloud based system that allows developers to build applications in a ready to go environment. PaaS allows for a business to develop its own applications in-house, while utilising the platform of the PaaS service provider.
Generally a PaaS service provider delivers a client with underlying Infrastructure, Operating Systems, Server Software, Hosting, Storage and Software Development Tools. This allows for the business to immediately operate, while giving internal developers the environment to develop custom software.
Benefits of Platform as a Service
The biggest benefit of PaaS is the ability for the client to easily and readily implement a PaaS system. Because the platform is generally delivered via an online web portal, PaaS can be set up quite easily, making it quite straightforward to implement. Generally, there is no hardware to install on the client side and the operating system and other important programs are ready to use. All that is needed is a computer and an internet connection.
The major benefits of PaaS is the ability for a client to increase the amount of resources attributed to their business. For example, a business may utilise a custom built website as part of its sales process. Over time this site may receive more customers and need to boost the resources used to serve the site. This ‘upgrade’ will generally be a request that can be executed immediately.
PaaS is great for scaling a businesses IT needs.
In considering cost, a PaaS service offering is generally charged on a per month/per user basis. This means that as requirements change, the platform can be expanded to meet the new demands of the business, without over or under-investing in IT. Further, monthly usage fees are generally much more palatable on cashflow, compared to a single lump sum capital expense.
PaaS offers other benefits as well. For example, teams from different geographic locations can easily collaborate via a PaaS service. Clients of a PaaS service provider have the option to add and remove features as needed, based on necessity and cost. Security is improved, with PaaS service providers delivering services such as virus protection and database backups.
Is Paas Right for my Business?
This really depends on what you are trying to achieve with your software and IT in your business. For example, if you’re looking for basic Windows functions, Office Programs and storage space a SaaS solution may be better.
PaaS is really about allowing your business to develop in-house programs and scale in line with demand. This does not mean you have to have a full-time IT department in your business to benefit from the flexibility of a PaaS service, but it is unlikely you would utilise PaaS if you did not have a need to develop customisable software.
The alternatives to a PaaS solution would be SaaS (Software as a Service) or IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). Briefly, SaaS offers a simpler, straightforward offering, where the client pays for software only, such as Microsoft Office 365. IaaS on the other hand is the opposite to SaaS, and provides underlying infrastructure, such as virtualised servers to the client.
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