The seven unique Platform-as-a-Service startups we're spotlighting here offer a wide range of options, from mobile-friendly tools, to services designed for industrial Internet of Things (IoT) deployments. While you may have heard of a couple of the PaaS providers on our list, we're betting there are a few more here that aren't on your radar yet.
Compared to other cloud platform services, such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), the PaaS segment has taken much longer to evolve. It's also more complex compared to SaaS and IaaS when it comes to identifying a clear ROI for its customers. Now, as virtualization advancements such as container technologies emerge, PaaS is hitting its stride.
In the past, PaaS customers often struggled, because, unlike IaaS or SaaS, there was relatively little standardization from one service provider to the next. Each provider developed its own services, which were different enough to make it difficult on customers who wanted to work with multiple providers.
PaaS providers have taken on this challenge from two different approaches. In some cases, the provider diversifies itself so much from the competition its customers feel no need or desire to use multiple vendors. To the customer, PaaS acts somewhat similar to a SaaS model, but with far more flexibility in terms of backend programmability.
Other PaaS vendors are opting to become more homogeneous in order to play nice with the competition –- primarily through the use of containers, which give customers great flexibility. In this regard, PaaS can also act similarly to an IaaS, minus the underlying headaches of having to manage the infrastructure.
Last month, I wrote about why Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is expected to be the cloud platform of choice when it comes to IoT. And while this is true, it's not the only area of IT where PaaS shines.
As you review the PaaS startups we're highlighting here, you'll likely see the firms we're most excited about falling into one of the above categories: total diversification of offerings, or a homogenous approach. Neither strategy is better or worse than the other. Instead, it's all about what the customer needs.
Once you've reviewed the startups featured here, let us know what you think. Is PaaS something you're exploring in your enterprise? Have you already deployed a PaaS product? Do you seek homogeneity or diversification from your PaaS provider? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.