Key Trends in PaaS and Platform Architecture for 2019

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Industry research firm, Gartner recently identified the key trends impacting platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technologies and platform architecture in 2019 and beyond.

“The trends we see in PaaS both reflect and drive the trends in the continuous transformation of cloud computing and digital business,” said Yefim Natis, research vice president at Gartner. “As organisations embrace cloud platforms, they find themselves facing a variety of changes.”

To provide guidance in the fast-growing market for cloud platform services, Gartner has highlighted the key trends that application leaders should consider as they make decisions on technology, budget and organisation.

Trend 1: A Booming PaaS Market

As of 2019, the total PaaS market contains more than 360 vendors, offering more than 550 cloud-platform services in 21 categories. Gartner expects that, from 2018 to 2022, the market will double in size and that PaaS will be the prevailing platform delivery model moving forward.

“All PaaS segments show healthy growth rates,” Natis said. “However, the market remains short on standardisation, established practices and sustained leadership. Vendors need to address those issues in a timely manner to encourage adoption by more risk-averse organisations.”

Trend 2: The Cloud Platform Continuum

PaaS capabilities aim to support the role of a cloud platform. However, all cloud services including infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) can be key factors for a platform. Together, those services constitute the cloud platform continuum. To look for and recognise the opportunities for platform-based innovation across the entire spectrum of cloud services will soon be part of every cloud strategy.

Organisations that embrace the potential roles and unique differentiators of IaaS, PaaS and instrumented SaaS in the spectrum of cloud platform capabilities stand to extract the greatest value from their cloud investments.

Trend 3: Cloud-Native Design

New technology architectures arise, designed to natively reflect the essentials of the cloud experience: agility, continuous innovation, fast delivery. Recent examples of cloud-native technologies include serverless platforms, micro-virtual machines and low-code offerings. ‘Cloud computing’ is evolving to become just ‘computing,’ and cloud-native design in new investments is becoming pervasive across organisations, use cases and deployment models.

Trend 4: Enterprise IT Becomes a Service Provider to the Business Organisation

“What we see is that central IT starts to provide the business organization with enablement services such as platforms, training, consulting and support,” said Natis. “They are also in charge of overall governance. This development is driven by the combined impact of innovations such as low-code tools, machine-learning-assisted development and self-service consumption models, which lead to a redefinition of the role of central IT — away from a ‘factory’ delivery and towards a ‘service-provider’ approach.