Sunday, June 5, 2011

PaaS - The Ultimate Survival Contest for IT

Even with all the confusion around Cloud Computing, there are a few things that are fairly well accepted by everyone involved in the IT industry:
  • Developers have led the early waves of Cloud Computing and they will continue to lead the next phases, especially as more open-source options are made available to them.
  • Corporate IT organizations are typically slow to change, as they are focused on stability and 3-7yr budget/depreciation cycles. 
These two dynamics are creating a challenging environment within the IT industry. As more "in house" developers leverage public cloud resources, typically due to the pace of IT (operational) responsiveness, this is creating a "shadow IT" environment outside the corporate IT walls. On the flip-side, corporate IT is growing more concerned about external Cloud Computing resources [1][2][3] because of well-publicized outages and concerns about security and compliance.

The latest wrinkle in all this development is the emergence of several PaaS projects and platforms which will give developers the option of running their applications in public or private environments. They also come with the promise of application portability between public and private environments. Whether or not this happens is still TBD and will probably take several years to work out the kinks (and levels of trust from developers). But it introduces an interesting crossroads for corporate IT organizations, which has experts predicting a variety of potential outcomes.