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Barriers to PaaS: Why Many Businesses Are Opting Out of Platform-as-a-Service

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While PaaS can be an attractive solution for some small businesses, it may not always be the best fit.

The widespread adoption of cloud computing has helped developers and small businesses create applications of all kinds. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) has proved to be a helpful tool for developers, as it provides the tools, libraries, servers and networks required to create and host the software. PaaS was created to eliminate the time-consuming IT work that so many small businesses struggle with. It is a moderately customizable, incrementally priced package that meets the basic needs of developers.

Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Rackspace and Heroku are just some of the large companies that have done all the hard work in creating massive infrastructures, and are effectively renting them out to smaller businesses and developers that do not have the resources to build the infrastructure themselves. Each company treats PaaS slightly differently, focusing on different aspects, and each has its own flaws. This can make it difficult for businesses to choose the best fit. There are other problems with PaaS as well. Here we’ll take a look at why many businesses are opting out.

Problems With PaaS

Some businesses and larger enterprises have discovered some drawbacks of using PaaS, and have found other ways to outsource their development. This comes as a result of some of the key barriers to using PaaS. These include:

  • High Cost
    As an application grows and requires more digital support, PaaS becomes incrementally more expensive. At some point, it becomes more cost-effective to hire a system administrator, or a team of system administrators, to manage the technology powering the application. Using a PaaS is not as versatile as a specialized programmer, and hiring out may cost less, depending on the scope of infrastructure needed.
  • Low Efficiency
    Because PaaS encompasses broad systems with limited operational features, companies will eventually start to spend more and more time customizing and changing the PaaS package. Rather than using a relatively fixed platform created as a one-size-fits-all solution, it may be worthwhile to hire someone to handle a business’s unique needs. This can reduce the time spent tinkering with an improperly suited program, allowing more time for creating a custom program with a more precise fit.
  • Limited Security
    Most businesses aren’t comfortable putting their workloads on the public cloud, which is why private and hybrid options were created. However, the private and hybrid solutions pose their own laundry list of flaws. They are significantly less mature than the public solutions, which makes them riskier. They also add a hefty amount of work to the developer managing the architecture. Instead of focusing solely on the infrastructure, developers also need available tools for policy management, deep integration with IDM solutions, SLA management, disaster recovery and more. (Learn more in Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds: What’s the Difference?)

With more and more enterprises passing on PaaS, it’s become clear that Platform-as-a-Service is only a worthy investment for small businesses up to a certain point. Cost, efficiency and security are vital components of any growing enterprise. Success and growth require a flexible and scalable solution for cloud computing, and PaaS doesn’t always deliver. Once a business requires a fully customizable platform and cost-effective solution, it’s time to invest in a team of programmers who will meet those needs.


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Melissa Rudy
Melissa Rudy

Melissa Rudy is a versatile copywriter with over 12 years of experience creating compelling and polished content for online, print and mobile channels. Her expertise includes content creation for websites, blog posts, press releases, product descriptions, newsletters and more. He has a strong background in e-commerce, retail and social media. From 2003 to 2008, Melissa worked at Frontgate/Cornerstone in web content management roles. In that role, she coordinated online presentations for thousands of products, edited text for the web, managed daily website operations, and oversaw all online content to ensure accuracy and usability. He also created text for websites, emails…