Major software vendors will step up efforts in hosted development and testing…
All major software vendors will be offering new or greatly expanded platform as a service (PaaS) products this year, according to Gartner.
The analyst firm describes 2011 as the year of PaaS, a form of cloud computing that allows firms to build and run applications in a hosted environment.
The next 12 months are widely considered to be the period when businesses start to implement cloud computing, rather than just talk about adopting cloud services.
PaaS is expected to be an important element of cloud adoption according to Gartner, alongside software as a service and infrastructure as a service.
"By the end of 2011, the battle for leadership in PaaS and the key PaaS segments will engulf the software industry," said Yefim Natis, vice president and analyst at Gartner.
"Users can expect a wave of innovation and hype. It will be harder to find a consistent message, standards or clear winning vendors," he added.
Analysts at Gartner also predict that the present PaaS products, which come in over a dozen specialised types, will consolidate over the next few years into a few major application infrastructure service suites.
However, the report also states that during the next five years, adoption of PaaS in most mid-sized and large organisations will not lead to wholesale transition to cloud computing. Instead, the report suggests PaaS will "coexist, interoperate and integrate".
Gartner says by 2015 most enterprises will have a hybrid environment where internal and external services are combined, with PaaS playing an important role in this integration.