3 reasons cloud app development is taking off

PaaS is in your enterprise -- whether IT knows it or not -- and will only become a bigger in-house development option

Plenty of analyst reports are showing the growth of cloud computing, along with the fact that PaaS (platform as a service) is picking up steam in 2011. Indeed, this Forrester Research report from April was quite accurate: "PaaS is the third-largest cloud category, with a market size of $820 million in 2011, and Forrester predicts steady growth as PaaS becomes a serious alternative for developing custom applications. Many [software vendors] have been using PaaS since 2010; usage in corporate application development will take off in 2011, while service providers will engage more with PaaS from 2012 on."

Beyond the growth of sales and the addition of new options such as Amazon Web Services' Elastic Beanstalk, there are three core reasons why PaaS is taking off.

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First, the price for development within the enterprise is too high. Consider the cost of middleware, databases, tools, testing platforms, staging platforms, and so on, and you're looking in the neighborhood of $1 million to design, build, and deploy an application. As the application backlogs build up, enterprise IT wants a reasonable way to get these applications into production.

Second, many of those who use PaaS in a corporation are not under IT's control. Employees frustrated with the wait for corporate IT to solve a business problem simply hire their own developers and use PaaS as a cheap way to get their applications built, tested, and deployed. What IT doesn't know won't hurt it.

Third, many new applications use Web-based resources to augment the functionality of the application, such as data validation services, mapping, and other services that can be mashed into an application. It's much easier to use Web resources from other Web resources. PaaS becomes the path of least resistance and, thus, the platform of choice.

These are just a few reasons why PaaS is gaining traction. Perhaps it's time for your IT department to look into it.

This article, "3 reasons cloud app development is taking off," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.