Another cloud computing myth busted: PaaS isn't just for the little guy

Grazed from TheServerSide.  Author:  Sacha Labourey.

There's no doubt that individuals, startups, and smaller businesses have been the first movers in Platform as a Service (PaaS), and that's natural. It's natural because PaaS, particularly fully managed services offerings, gives organizations a chance to focus on creating and delivering applications while leaving behind the burden associated with infrastructure and operations. Mixed in with these early adopters have been some larger companies executing on a top-down directive to 'take advantage of the cloud.'

Lately though, the industry has seen a major shift toward more enterprise-level adoption as an overall trend. Why? One of the biggest reasons for strong growth on the enterprise side is that traditionally late adopter enterprises are being disrupted by the smaller early adopters. In some ways, this is the wave of Software as a Service (SaaS) and mobile offerings coming to market and impacting traditional players in many spaces. In other ways, it's the IT department finally responding to the developers standing outside of their offices carrying pitchforks and torches. Overall, two quite different use cases are leading this move towards PaaS....

Continuous Integration (CI) in the Cloud

The first prominent use case is the one of build and test. Development teams are constantly fighting to get access to proper resources to build and test their software. Yet, IT departments tend to focus their limited bandwidth and resources on production-oriented activities: testing and quality assurance are not their immediate priority. To that end, some PaaS platforms provide ready-to-use Continuous Integration (CI) services that make it possible to build and test software in a continuous fashion (i.e. any time something changes in your code, a new series of tests get initiated in a clean room environment), in the cloud. Those services require no software, no setup, no maintenance nor infrastructure from the IT department, and don't put the burden on the development team to maintain their own custom-built CI cluster in the cloud. This need for increased testing tools and resources is only made bigger with the advent of mobile applications that don't just require very intense testing, but new testing tools, environments and processes that most IT organizations are, for the most part, not yet prepared to deliver...

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