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When to PaaS Instead of SaaS or IaaS

Making the right choices in the Cloud

It can be argued that Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) have been sufficiently commoditized so as to neutralize any "breakthrough" competitive advantage they might originally have presented. In simple terms, once everybody's doing it, you have to do it just to keep pace. If only one bank had Automated Teller Machines, that bank would have a big advantage. Today, things like ATM's and online banking are commodity offerings. Without them, a bank could not stay in business. We're rapidly getting to the point where the same can be said for enterprises that don't recognize and exploit the value of IaaS and SaaS where appropriate.

So, what is PaaS?

No, not this type of platform

No, not this type of platform

PaaS stands for Platform as a Service. In essence, it offers companies a way to develop applications without having to invest in platform infrastructure, specifically the computer hardware and software necessary to build and run the application.

This means saving money in more ways than just the hardware and software investments, though. Hardware needs a physical place within the enterprise to reside. Electricity-hogging cooling systems must be put in place, and there has to be some provision for disaster recovery. And, once that is accomplished, the system must be maintained. Sounds like fun, no?

But it's way more than just the hard dollar savings

What about the advantage of allowing your IT Department to build and deploy applications quickly and securely? This is invaluable. No one knows your business as well as you do. While best of breed packaged solutions will always have their place in the enterprise, to optimize your competitive advantage your IT Department has to be able to develop applications that are suited to the way your business works. (Which, of course, is why you spend so much time and money customizing those best of breed solutions.) You have to have an agile solution that allows IT to utilize not only its technological skill but also its knowledge of your business. And, as PaaS evolves, so will your IT Department's ability to maximize its value, as more and better development tools become available.

Platforms in the Cloud

Platforms in the Cloud

IT can be more important than ever, but not just as the guys and gals who fix things that break or customize and re-customize software that will never do exactly what you need it to. Your company's IT Department can now be the vanguard of something truly revolutionary. With PaaS, even the small enterprise can do what was once available to companies with vast resources; develop Web applications that fit exactly what your business needs. And as you evolve these Web apps, staying ahead of the competition will remain a product of your ability and imagination, not the number of machines you can afford.

More Stories By Suresh Sambandam

After an initial entrepreneurial stint for three years at the age of 19, Suresh Sambandam went on to work at Hewlett-Packard. Later, Suresh joined Selectica and rose to senior position, as Director of e-Insurance product division in a short-span. The e-Insurance division and its products were later acquired by Accenture. Suresh is a technocrat specializing in product engineering with expertise in software architecture for complex enterprise applications, inference engines, configuration engines, rule-based computing and enterprise middleware. He has applied for multiple patents. Suresh is passionate about entrepreneurship, technology startups and spends a significant amount of personal time in the start-up ecosystem in Chennai. Suresh is a member of the National Council for Emerging Companies Forum and also a core committee member of Product Forum at NASSCOM. He also does mentoring for budding entrepreneurs at IIT Bombay, E-Cell. Suresh is a regular speaker at various industry forums & academic institutions.

Suresh is the Founder & CEO of OrangeScape. OrangeScape is a platform (PaaS - Platform as a Service) to develop process oriented business applications that can be deployed "On Cloud" and "On Premise". OrangeScape supports platforms like Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure as cloud deployment option and Microsoft .Net and J2EE as on-premise deployment options. OrangeScape has 50+ customers including global brands like Unilever, Citibank, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Fullterton, etc. OrangeScape in the only Indian company has been featured in the PaaS research reports of Forrester and Gartner. OrangeScape has been featured as 'India's Rising Tech Stars' by Forbes(US) magazine. OrangeScape was showcased as one of the 3 emerging product companies in India by Nasscom and was also awarded 'Top IT Innovations' for 2 consecutive years.

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