I know I spend a lot of time talking about mid-market and cloud and all the great things that cloud affords these organizations to do. I also talk about how cloud providers love cloud models because it allows them to build huge self-managed services that involve the same types of provisioning models, resulting in streamlined and very profitable services that their customers can use to build their own corporate services. And the fact that these services are multi-tenant, the cost savings for both providers and customers means they can invest in services that utilize modern technologies and security controls without huge capital investments. But why would enterprises then build their own clouds? What benefits are there for their internal and external customers?
Internal IT departments are expected to build cloud environments that deliver on the same promises as public clouds. They need services that can be delivered quickly, have minimal costs associated and allows for self-management or provisioning. But enterprises only seem to want to invest in technologies that allow them to differentiate themselves, assist in executing their core mission, or allow them to be more competitive. In general, they seek to acquire non-differentiating IT services as commodities.
Since services such as payroll, HR, and other standard required services aren’t really considered to differentiate, unless ofcourse you are a CRM company etc, these are the first types of services that get put into the cloud. That’s why we are seeing the first line of cloud services fall under SaaS or in some cases IaaS. The idea is that if you automate these processes so that they take no internal resources to manage, the funds normally attributed to these projects can then be reinvested in more beneficial endeavors.
Here is where the key to cloud adoption for IT in enterprises will come from, the continued movement towards the building and automating of services that deter from core differentiation for the enterprise. Platform as a service is really the key first step, as it allows for the manual configuration of the environment running the applications to be automated. Developers already start halfway into the process in the development lifecycle, no longer spending time and resources on building and maintaining the development environments. This means the development process is suddenly reduced in time and cost and the company can innovate quicker and with less investment. PaaS will allow organizations to invest and yield huge savings opportunities by having shared services across multiple units within an organization.
It’s funny that we spend so much time talking about IaaS and SaaS to enterprises when the key business opportunity is clearly PaaS. PaaS allows enterprises to have their own internal startup to drive business value for internal and external stakeholders.