Tag Archives: PaaS

Keys to Digital Transformation, Cornerstones for Digital Business

What is Happening?          

Digital delivery models are impacting traditional businesses. Driven by consumer demand for convenience and new consumption models, including subscriptions and usage-based consumption, enterprises are moving to Digital Business models and offerings, and finding huge upside from predictable revenue streams and long-term, recurring-revenue customer relationships.

There’s no simple means of accomplishing this, however – there’s no “silver bullet.” Saugatuck’s research in the constantly-changing, constantly-innovating world of Digital Business continues to indicate that success requires not only significant investment in business strategy, modeling, and organization, but also a flexible, platform-based approach built on three cornerstones: data analytics, dPaaS and other Cloud development platforms, and DevOps.

A 36-page new Saugatuck Strategic Research ReportCornerstones for Digital Business: Big Data, dPaaS, and DevOps – summarizes and explains this platform-based approach, using key concepts of Digital Business, in-depth explanation of the required platform architecture, and re-examinations of foundational Saugatuck research to illustrate and guide readers through Digital Business transitions. Continue reading

dPaaS: Is the Real Payback Control or Productivity?

For providers of Cloud solutions targeting the Boundary-free Enterprise™, whether enterprise IT or Cloud ISV, partnering with a Cloud development platform provider will be a strategic decision.

Saugatuck Planning Position (SPP): By YE2017, Enterprises, ISVs (and pure-play Cloud providers) will require improved flexibility in developing and enhancing core business operational functionality in loosely-coupled solutions across the Boundary-free Enterprise™ platforms.

In considering and evaluating Cloud development Platform as a Service solutions, enterprise IT or Cloud ISV buyers are generally not acquiring an off-the-shelf solution, but entering into a developing relationship with their provider. Consider the history over the past five years of Microsoft’s Windows Azure Platform, which has evolved and deepened the portfolio of functional capabilities available there, and what was once embryonic has now become much more fully realized.

How many of the long list of onetime PaaS contenders are still in business and have not been acquired: Amazon, Apprenda, Bungee Connect, CollabNet, Coghead, ComRange, Cordys, CloudBees, EngineYard, EMC, EnSiM, Fujitsu, Google, Heroku, IBM, Interneer, Jamcracker, LongJump, Microsoft, MorphLabs, OrangeScape, Parallels, Progress, RedHat, Rollbase, Salesforce, SAP, Servoy, Wavemaker, WorkXpress? How many of these PaaS contenders have merged together? How many are still in business, but not yet on the map?

NOTE: Ongoing Saugatuck subscription clients can access this deep-dive premium research piece (1338MKT) by clicking here, and inputting your ID and password.

IBM’s Hard Dollar Investments in SoftLayer: BlueMix and Beyond

What is Happening?

Recent weeks have seen major announcements from IBM including launching a Watson business unit to “productize” cognitive computing, selling the System x (x86) Server business to Lenovo, and significant investments in expanding its focus on Cloud with SoftLayer as a key foundation. On February 18 and 19, 2014, IBM hosted analyst updates to further describe their heightened focus on Cloud. Briefings featured both the PaaS and IaaS layers of the new IBM Ecostack with BlueMix, Cast Iron and Cloudant occupying prominent positions in the PaaS layer, as well as other solutions running alongside BlueMix on top of the SoftLayer IaaS platform. IBM is now actively seeking candidates for its open beta program that will run through June 2014.

Why is it Happening?

Saugatuck sees IBM’s recent announcements as clear indication that IBM is investing heavily in Cloud, and in Softlayer as a platform, acknowledging the ever-decreasing profit in the traditional on-premises x86 server business versus the rapidly-increasing profit potential in Cloud-based offerings. Saugatuck assesses the burgeoning opportunities in Cloud in two general categories:

  • Development and Subsequent “Hosting” of New Applications in a Cloud.
  • Renovation and Migration of Applications to a Cloud. Continue reading

dPaaS: Do You Know What Your Cloud Development Platform Really Is?

There has long been debate about whether development tools actually increase productivity and/or lower expertise barriers by generating code, or whether they deliver business advantages by such things as centralizing the activity across geographies, providing a common environment for all developers, and simplifying the management of code, integration and management of APIs. It is a central consideration for organizations considering whether to utilize Cloud development PaaS: what are the real business benefits of dPaaS, and how do we select the right one for what our organization needs. Continue reading

Some Answers to My Questions for the Progress CTO

As I recounted yesterday (see related Lens360 blog post), my scheduled meetings with Progress Executives at Progress Exchange 13 took a twisted path. My initial session with CTO Karen Padir was cancelled at the last moment, and a short, friendly session with CEO Phil Pead was hastily substituted. That meeting with the Progress CEO was an unexpected bonus, but I still had those questions I wanted to ask the new CTO, and it didn’t look like it would be possible.

Despite the snafu in scheduling, the Progress team closed ranks, surrounded the problem and made sure I got my answers. I addition I got a good look at how effectively and considerately Progress can respond.

My afternoon meetings with John Goodson, Chief Product Officer, and Michael Benedict, VP of Pacific Cloud and Open Edge, went off as scheduled. I learned firsthand about the new Progress Pacific Cloud integration capability, Easyl, with its ease-of-use Continue reading

Three Questions I Would Have Asked The New Progress CTO

When I arrived at the Boston Westin Waterfront last night after a long drive, I was amazed to see the dramatic orange signage announcing Progress Exchange. Progress has always been the best-kept secret in the IT industry, and this was something new. After I checked in I registered at the conference and got my meeting assignments. I was particularly looking forward to meeting with Karen Tegan Padir, the new Progress CTO, to learn more about the Pacific platform, the Progress PaaS announced in August.

The keynotes were spectacular and highly persuasive. Both Phil Pead the new CEO and Karen Padir, the new CTO, were well rehearsed and entertaining. I tweeted almost thirty times during Continue reading

The Boundary-free Enterprise™: It’s a PaaS Thing

Today’s businesses are doing their work through a new Cloud-based array of time- and location-independent computing capabilities – Collaboration, Mobile, Social and Analytics — plus Integration services which together make the Boundary-free Enterprise™ possible. We trace the evolution of PaaS from its origins through the present and anticipate how it is likely to continue to evolve in support of its multiple roles as an enabler of Cloud solutions, integrator of hybrid solutions, and extender of SaaS and open source applications.

Both enterprises and Cloud ISVs will be challenged to enhance their Cloud and hybrid business solutions through leveraging Mobile, Social/Collaborative and Analytics platforms that may also bridge on-premises data to the Cloud. Developing for this Cloud and hybrid architecture will be the primary activity of enterprise developers over the next three-to-five years, and maintaining these Cloud solutions, integrations and workflows will be the mainstay of IT for a decade or more to come. For ISV and pure play Cloud providers, this emerging new master architecture presents many new opportunities and some new challenges, if they are to compete successfully.

Over time we expect PaaS to evolve to more fully support Collaboration, Mobile, Social and Analytics:

  • Understanding and embracing the loosely-coupled solution model
  • Enabling re-architected synergies across Cloud platforms and solutions
  • Facilitating solutions designed for maintainability as the Cloud evolves

For providers of Cloud solutions targeting the Boundary-free Enterprise™, whether enterprise IT or Cloud ISV, partnering with a Cloud development platform provider will be a strategic decision.

Saugatuck Planning Position: By YE2017, Enterprises, ISVs (and pure-play Cloud providers) will require improved flexibility in developing and enhancing core business operational functionality in loosely-coupled solutions across the Boundary Free Enterprise™platforms.

Note: Ongoing Saugatuck subscription clients can access this premium research piece (1130MKT) by clicking here, and inputting your ID and password. Non-clients can purchase and download this premium research piece by clicking here.

Progress Software – Getting Back to its Roots

Last week, Saugatuck was briefed by Colleen Smith, VP at Progress Software (NASDAQ: PRGS), concerning the firm’s recently announced strategy to refocus around its core OpenEdge product line (see April 25, 2012 Progress Software press release).

Over the past half dozen or so years, Progress had been successfully diversifying the company beyond its historical 4GL and app dev roots, primarily through the acquisition of a number of high-profile BPM, event-processing, middleware and integration-focused assets. This strategy apparently had been working until recently, when top line revenue and operating income began to fall. In response, the firm’s former CEO Richard Reidy stepped down last August – and after a five month BOD search, the firm hired Jay Bhatt as its new President and CEO (formerly of Autodesk) in December 2011. Continue reading

Cloud-based Data Integration Changes Business for Enterprises and Providers

What Is Happening?

Cloud-based technologies and offerings are the arena in which data integration is evolving from a simple means of transmitting information between applications into complex business capabilities that enable improved competitive necessities and advantages for enterprises. Enterprise choices of how to leverage this new role will affect their own costs, their abilities to improve business operations, and their abilities to compete effectively. Providers’ choices of how to utilize this new role, and what to offer, will affect their core business positioning and profitability. Continue reading

Microsoft Azure Update: Ten Things You Need to Know

In 2010, Microsoft launched the Windows Azure platform. Since then, Saugatuck has been actively tracking Windows Azure through regular Microsoft briefings, interviews with ISVs and with SIs that have migrated their solutions or workloads to Windows Azure or that have built natively on Windows Azure.

ISVs migrating to the Cloud and enterprise developers should understand the evolution and maturity of the Windows Azure platform, and the solutions and workloads it was designed for. Not all work well on Windows Azure. In a recently published premium Saugatuck research deliverable (1016MKT, 10 Things to Know about Windows Azure Two Years after Release, 29Jan2012) we provide an update and overview of the platform, and its suitability for Cloud solutions. In this Lens360 blog post, we highlight some of the takeaways from this 6-page Strategic Perspective.

Overall, significant progress has already been made, and it is important to note several important advances on the horizon for Windows Azure platform:

SQL Azure:
  • 2012 will see SQL Server 2012 and SQL Azure move closer to parity, as the once-significant functionality gap continues to close.
  • 2012 will see SQL Server 2012 and SQL Azure share development tools.
  • New federated partitioning for SQL Azure provides the means to handle issues related to managing customers separately.
Windows Azure:
  • System Center 2012 makes management of Azure solutions part of the overall systems management capability.
Regulatory Certifications:
  • Microsoft is currently in the process of completing the SSAE 16 audit.
  • Work is also under way to Deliver on HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA).
  • PCI certification, not in place today, is next on the roadmap.

At the same time, however, Windows Azure presents significant challenges to enterprise developers or to ISVs with enterprise customers migrating to the Cloud because of persistent design constraints. While we don’t have the room in this blog post to flesh these issues out in full, we discuss these in some detail in the Strategic Perspective, and what to do about it.

One area we do want to highlight is that despite considerable recent attention to achieving certifications, Windows Azure still lacks FISMA, GLBI, HIPAA, PCI, and SSAE16 – a key constraint if an enterprise or an ISV needed to store medical information or consumer credit card data, for example. While we believe many of the key certifications are on the roadmap, it takes time to fully address all of the certification issues. Stay tuned.

Complicating things further, Windows Azure is a rapidly moving target of functionality. The progress Microsoft has made in enhancing the platform continues at a fairly rapid pace. Therefore, it is important to understand the technical direction that the Windows Azure platform will take and continue to take as it evolves further. 2012 holds several very promising new additions to the Windows Azure platform, including development and testing capability.

Fortunately for migrating ISVs and enterprise developers, leading SIs such as Accenture, Avanade, Cognizant and Wipro, for example, have partnered with Microsoft to enable Windows Azure ISV workloads and solutions, and in doing so have amassed deep knowledge of the platform, its architecture and its future directions. These SIs have also developed solutions that fill in some of the gaps in the platform today.

Note: Ongoing Saugatuck subscription clients can access this premium research piece (1016MKT) by clicking here, and inputting your ID and password. Non-clients can purchase and download this premium research piece by clicking here.