PaaS is heading toward verticalization

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Most of the platform services that are in the market are generic PaaS offerings. Almost all of them offer polyglot runtimes, frameworks, application services, and persistence. But these platforms still require developers to write code that is specific to an industry vertical or a domain. This has confined PaaS to consumer web applications and mobile backends. It is perceived that developing and deploying enterprise line-of-business applications on PaaS is complex. This has prompted system integrators and domain-specific ISVs to inject domain-specific capabilities into the generic PaaS. I am currently helping an ISV focused on telecommunications domain evaluate the integration of OSS and BSS with an open-source PaaS.

There are lots of examples:

  • The Pivotal Initiative from VMware and EMC is aimed at bringing the big data and PaaS investments together. If the team led by industry veteran Paul Maritz manages to converge Cloud Foundry and Pivotal HD into a big data PaaS, it will have a compelling product for enterprises.
  • Last month Continuuity, the big data application platform, came out with a PaaS offering called AppFabric with the aim of making it easy for developers to deal with complex big data applications.
  • Alcatel-Lucent has partnered with GigaSpaces to build a carrier-cloud Platform as a Service (CPaaS). This offering is built on Alcatel-Lucent’s existing CloudBand management system and aims to make it easier for telecom service providers to manage the domain-specific application life cycle.
  • Microsoft is attempting to integrate Windows Azure, HDInsight, and Visual Studio to bring big data development closer to the .NET developer community. This will pave the way for the verticalized PaaS offerings.

The future of PaaS certainly lies in verticalization.