Gartner is now officially on the platform as a service bandwagon.
Platform as a service (PaaS), which features cloud architecture that includes application services and middleware, is one of the many flavors of cloud computing. There's software as a service, which is most popular for now via companies like Workday, NetSuite and Salesforce, and infrastructure as a service via Amazon Web Services.
Compared to its cousins PaaS has been developing relatively slowly. Gartner argues that condition is about to change. In a report, Gartner said that PaaS is "on the cusp of several years of strategic growth" that will lead to innovation breakthroughs.
- 2012 will mark the beginning of a multi-year growth trend in PaaS.
- But today PaaS has risks and uncertainties. The biggest one to me is lock-in. You can't swap platforms easily if at all.
- By the end of 2013 all major software vendors will have PaaS offerings.
- New programming models will arrive in 2016 and standards will form. New leaders will emerge.
My bottom line: Those standards and the ability to swap platforms will be huge. Today, the PaaS market often looks like yet another effort to sell you an IT stack. It's also unclear whether new programming models will emerge for the enterprise in just four years.