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1 AUGUST 2014 THE STATE OF Private Platform as a Service $ The PaaS Payoff: Greater Agility, Less Cost Executive Summary Today s IT managers must balance often conflicting challenges. One imperative is to meet ever growing demands for new and innovative applications to help capitalize on business opportunities and thwart competitive threats. An equally important priority is to maintain tight control over spending and headcount. Third, IT leaders must ensure that any new technology initiatives don t open up new security gaps. Exclusive research by UBM Tech reveals that many IT decision makers are addressing these multiple requirements with the help of Platform as a Service (PaaS), a main pillar of cloud computing. The study also identified today s top IT imperatives, the business and technical potential of PaaS, and best-practices enterprises can use for successfully transitioning to this important cloud technology. This report takes a look at the data from this survey, and how PaaS can help IT leaders as they pursue fastpaced innovation in budget-conscious organizations. To say today s IT managers are engaged in a difficult and often risky balancing act is an understatement. For many IT decision makers, success or failure of their departments and their larger enterprises hinges on how well they address conflicting business and technical requirements. One such challenge is to meet ever-growing demands for new and innovative applications to help business users capitalize on the latest market opportunities and block threats from competitors. In a perfect world, IT leaders would have growing budgets and a swarm of skilled technicians to deliver these services at a pace required by fast-changing business conditions. But the reality is far from perfect, which reveals a second, equally important challenge: Since IT shops will likely continue to see only modest gains at best in budgets and headcount, they must find ways to tightly manage costs. As if this two-pronged challenge isn t enough, IT leaders face a third imperative: ensure that any new technology initiatives they undertake don t create security gaps for the world s growing army of cyber criminals to exploit. Fortunately, technological innovation can help by providing internal optimizations that enable IT leaders to juggle multiple priorities and keep their enterprises thriving. UBM Tech s new research reveals that IT decision makers are looking to Platform as a Service (PaaS), a pillar of cloud computing and one now available in a variety of

2 flexible implementation models, to address an array of business and technology challenges. In the UBM Tech survey, 67% of IT decision makers say their organizations are considering or already using PaaS (see Figure 1). Independently, industry analysts are also observing how PaaS is benefiting progressive enterprises. Depending on how much code you re writing [PaaS] can accelerate delivery of applications anywhere from 30% to 80%, says John Treadway, senior vice president at Cloud Technology Partners, a consulting firm. The UBM Tech survey polled IT decision makers and other senior leaders at midsized and large enterprises in a cross-section of commercial companies and public-sector agencies. The results identify today s top IT imperatives, the business and technical potential of PaaS, and best-practices enterprises can use to successfully transition to this important cloud technology. The results Research Methodology offer a clear picture of why PaaS is becoming the go-to strategy for modern businesses. Multiple PaaS Options As cloud computing continues to evolve, PaaS remains one of its core building blocks, along with Software as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service. PaaS distinguishes itself by serving the needs of professionals responsible for developing new applications and services, and optimizing the performance of these resources In March 2014 UBM Tech surveyed 278 business technology managers at organizations with 500 or more employees in a cross-section of industry sectors on behalf of Red Hat. The study looked at business goals, technology challenges, and factors that impeded efforts to deliver new applications and services to meet changing market requirements. A key focus of the survey was interest in and adoption rates for Platform as a Service and how plans for this technology might evolve in the future. The greatest possible margin of error for the total respondent base (N=278) is +/- 5.8 percentage points. UBM Tech was responsible for all programming and data analysis. These procedures were carried out in strict accordance with standard market research practices. Figure 1. What best describes your current PaaS strategy? Already using PaaS Currently transitioning to PaaS Planning a transition to PaaS Considering a transition to PaaS Not considering PaaS Unsure 67% 18% 15% in production systems. PaaS does this by giving developers access to easily provisioned pools of computing, network, and storage resources for creating and testing new applications. The best PaaS options offer familiar programming languages, such as Java, PHP, Ruby, Perl, and Python, as well as frameworks like Java Enterprise Edition. The result: Developers can focus on their core responsibilities creating and deploying new applications and services rather than spending time setting up the development environment. 30% 17% DATA: UBM Tech survey of 278 business technology managers at companies with 500 or more employees, March 2014 From a programmer s viewpoint, deployment architectures take a lot of planning. But with PaaS, there are fewer things to worry about, Treadway says. I write code, I put it into a container, and application scaling and everything else just happens. 8% 12% PaaS comes in a variety of forms. Public PaaS relies on a third-party

3 provider to host the development resources. IT managers can also choose on-premises, or private, PaaS deployments, sometimes built with open-source technologies, as well as hybrid implementations that combine public and private platforms. An organization s individual requirements will determine which option is right for it. For example, a company wishing to avoid upfront capital expenditures and an ongoing management effort, can opt for public PaaS, On-premises PaaS offers unique benefits, such as control of applications and data that enterprises don t want to trust to an outside entity. which lets IT teams quickly spin up development resources by contracting with a third-party that s fully responsible for launching and maintaining the environment. Nevertheless, on-premises PaaS offers some unique benefits, such as full control of proprietary applications and data that enterprises don t want to trust to an outside entity. Enterprises may be legally bound to ensure some data doesn t leave the borders of their country, says Brad Shimmin, service director for business technology and software at Current Analysis, a consulting firm. Because hybrid PaaS merges hosted and on-premises alternatives, enterprises can take advantage of highly scalable programming tools along with Figure 2. How important is each of the following to your organization s IT department? Not Important Neutral Important Improved security 4% 10% 86% Improved application performance 4% 16% 80% Improved application reliability 6% 14% 80% Reduced application development costs 8% 14% 78% Increased innovation 9% 23% 68% Increased mission agility 10% 22% 68% Automated IT maintenance 10% 22% 68% Faster time to market for new applications 17% 18% 65% Pay-per-use infrastructure 38% 26% 36% NOTE: Percentages reflect combined scores on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is very important. DATA: UBM Tech survey of 278 business technology managers at companies with 500 or more employees, March 2014

4 close control of the data and infrastructure. A Long To-Do List Expanding choices associated with PaaS dovetail with a growing list of requirements that IT shops must address. The need to keep core business applications modern and innovative is a top driver. For example, when asked what percentage of their organization s applications need a refresh or replacement, almost two-thirds of the IT decision makers in UBM Tech s survey say between 20% and 50%. Other top concerns among a significant majority of respondents range from improving security and application performance to enhancing application reliability and curbing application-development costs (see Figure 2, p. 3). Unfortunately, a host of roadblocks stymie these important goals. For example, nearly a third of the respondents report that their organizations are missing out on opportunities to implement or deploy new technologies because they are locked in to IT contracts that accompany the upfront license costs of proprietary software vendors. The IT executives also single out sometimes lengthy steps in typical software development cycles as barriers to launching new applications and services. Half of the respondents say it takes at least a month to almost a year to provision a new environment. Within that group, 21% say they require 2 to 5 months for provisioning. Infrastructure maintenance, application updates, application deployment, and testing are other time-consuming steps, for a majority of the respondents (see Figure 3). Almost two-thirds of those surveyed say that between 20% and 50% of their applications need to be refreshed or replaced. However, time sinks aren t the only concerns keeping IT decision makers awake at night. A clear and present danger lurks within IT organizations: the rise of shadow IT, technologies built or procured without the sanction of the IT department. More than 80% Figure 3. During a typical software application development cycle, how long does your organization spend on each of the following steps? Less than to 5 6 to 11 1 to 2 More than 8 hours day week month months months years 2 years Unsure Requirements definition 2% 1% 7% 31% 31% 12% 5% 1% 10% Training/final acceptance 1% 1% 19% 31% 22% 8% 4% 2% 12% Application simulation/testing 0% 2% 9% 30% 28% 13% 5% 1% 12% Application updates 3% 6% 16% 21% 26% 9% 3% 2% 14% Application deployment 3% 5% 21% 20% 22% 10% 5% 2% 12% Standard infrastructure maintenance 3% 11% 20% 20% 15% 9% 3% 3% 16% Provision a new development environment 7% 6% 16% 16% 21% 12% 5% 3% 14% Application development 1% 1% 2% 11% 31% 31% 10% 3% 10% DATA: UBM Tech survey of 278 business technology managers at companies with 500 or more employees, March 2014

5 of the IT leaders surveyed say at least a few end-users run a tool or application for work purposes that has not been officially deployed by the IT department, while 37% say that many or almost all users rely on shadow IT technologies (see Figure 4). By speeding the deployment of new applications and services, options such as PaaS help IT departments quickly respond to new business demands, which can discourage end-users from acting on their own. These numbers are especially worrisome, given that 59% consider shadow IT a significant security concern (see Figure 5). As important as security risks are, they re not the only reason to fear shadow IT. The trend is often symptomatic of another fundamental problem, namely, that business users believe they can get services more quickly by circumventing the IT department. When that happens, governance policies break down, and decisions get made without the benefit of the technical expertise available to match the right IT resources for the organization s overall needs. Clearly, IT managers should explore any options that increase flexibility and shrink lead times for services vital to business operations, as well as create an environment that reduces risk and discourages employees from breaking governance policies. A Comprehensive Answer Against this backdrop of business and IT imperatives, nagging application development problems, and security concerns, decision makers are looking to PaaS for answers. PaaS is already becoming Figure 5. Do you consider Shadow IT (i.e., IT solutions built or procured and used inside organizations without organizational approval) to be a significant security concern? Yes No Unsure 16% 25% 59% DATA: UBM Tech survey of 278 business technology managers at companies with 500 or more employees, March 2014 Figure 4. Approximately how many end-users do you anticipate using a tool or application for work purposes that has not been officially deployed by the organization s IT department? 6% 7% 13% 6% 7% 31% 30% Almost all Many Some Few 37% Almost none None Unsure DATA: UBM Tech survey of 278 business technology managers at companies with 500 or more employees, March 2014 an important component in IT road maps, with 67% of organizations considering it or already using it to develop and or host enterprise applications. The bottom line is that 57% of respondents say PaaS is critical to realizing their corporate goals (see Figure 6, p. 6). While PaaS s contribution to enterprises overall strategies is noteworthy, this particular cloud option can also deliver specific benefits for business operations and IT efficiency. First, many respondents view PaaS as a resource for faster time

6 to market (see Figure 7, p. 7). One explanation for this is the ability of PaaS to smooth the development process. Programmers want to focus on the application itself the APIs, user interfaces, and user experience, as opposed to all the plumbing, says Cloud Technology Partners Treadway. What I need to worry about is what services are deployed on the platform, such as the database and middleware, not how the database is deployed. As a result, the agility gain is immediate and enormous. Second, PaaS can shorten application development cycles, sometimes by significant amounts. In fact, 56% of the respondents say the reduction would be 20% or more. Analysts report even greater reductions in 56% of those surveyed expect PaaS to shorten application development cycles by 20% or more. some real-world cases. Treadway, for instance, worked with a banking client that used PaaS to make frequently used services, such as account balance look-ups, available through APIs. The applications they write using this platform and the business processes they exposed are taking 80% less time to deliver than in the past, he says. Third, the potential to save money is another attraction of PaaS. Among the IT decision makers in the survey, nearly 40% say PaaS could reduce their annual IT budgets by at least 20%, while nearly two-thirds expect at least a 10% savings. One notable area for reducing expenses is in servers used for development and testing, which in traditional environments can be time consuming and expensive to procure and set up. Virtualized servers either in an on-premises or hosted PaaS environment can mitigate these costs with computing power that can be dialed up as needed for a new project and then reallocated to other areas once an application goes live. Finally, 37% of respondents see PaaS as a way to improve application performance while 33% see it as a way to boost reliability. Prebuilt services available as plug-ins or cartridges enable developers to Figure 6. Please indicate how much you agree with the following statements. Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree New application development is vital to my organization s ability to meet mission objectives 32% 58% 7% 3% Transitioning to, or expanding our use of, PaaS will enable my organization to fully leverage cloud computing benefits 15% 69% 9% 7% My organization can transition to a PaaS model while maintaining the safety and security of my organization s data 11% 69% 12% 8% Transitioning to PaaS is critical to application rationalization 8% 54% 29% 9% PaaS is critical to realizing our corporate goals 9% 48% 32% 11% DATA: UBM Tech survey of 278 business technology managers at companies with 500 or more employees, March 2014

7 write fewer lines of code to deploy new applications and business processes. Less new code means fewer chances to introduce bugs in the software and, ultimately, higher-quality programs. Concerns Remain But the path to PaaS isn t entirely clear in the minds of IT decision makers. Not surprisingly, security ranks at the top of concerns (see Figure 8, p. 8). Other potential stumbling blocks are loss of control over application infrastructure, getting locked into a proprietary infrastructure, and concerns about infrastructure reliability. No surprises here. These are commonly held fears about any hosted cloud computing solution. Prudent IT managers must always question whether an outside organization can fully protect valuable data and intellectual property in a multi-tenant environment, as well as deliver the performance levels defined in service agreements. Figure 7. What benefits is your organization realizing, or do you anticipate your organization will realize, from implementing a PaaS model? Faster time to market for new applications Reduced costs Improved application performance Improved application reliability Automated IT maintenance Increased mission agility 30% 33% 37% 46% 45% 30% Improved security 28% Increased innovation 24% Ability to share costs/implement charge-back with pay-per-use model 16% NOTE: Multiple responses allowed DATA: UBM Tech survey of 278 business technology managers at companies with 500 or more employees, March 2014 Prudent IT managers must always question whether an outside organization can fully protect valuable data and intellectual property. The same is true of vendor lock-in, which, as already noted, is a broad concern across IT departments that are intent on innovation. Industry analysts encounter similar fears in their research, especially among enterprises that have studied PaaS offerings that use proprietary data formats and languages. Problems emerge with data access when it crosses the firewall, and there are certainly issues with access control. Things aren t as clean as they could be, Current Analysis s Shimmin says. None of these challenges is necessarily a PaaS deal breaker, however, and many IT executives understand this reality. Nearly 60% say they believe they can transition to a PaaS model while maintaining the safety and security of their organization s data. But a collection of realistic concerns underscores the need for a clear migration strategy for enterprises that want to move from traditional development environments to a cloud-based PaaS alternative. Due diligence when vetting PaaS providers can alleviate concerns in hosted environments. Alternatively, choosing

8 on-premises or hybrid PaaS implementations built with opensource technologies will address infrastructure control and vendor lock-in issues. In the process, enterprises gain the flexible, highly scalable resources they need for developing new applications and services to address emerging business opportunities and challenges ahead of the competition. A Path for the Future IT managers can expect to be juggling conflicting demands for fast-paced innovation and tight financial controls for the foreseeable future. In this environment, successful leaders must avoid solutions that could exacerbate long-standing problems, such as security vulnerabilities, contracts that shackle organizations to proprietary technologies, extended application development lifecycles, and situations that encourage shadow IT. Maturing PaaS technologies, available in hosted, on-premises, and hybrid models, are poised to grow in importance for all phases of application delivery and give IT managers valuable resources to balance modernization and budget realities. Figure 8. What are the most significant challenges your organization faces with the transition to PaaS? Security Loss of control over application infrastructure Getting locked into proprietary infrastructure Concern over infrastructure reliability Leadership resistance Developer resistance 17% 29% 35% 40% 43% 51% NOTE: Multiple responses allowed DATA: UBM Tech survey of 278 business technology managers at companies with 500 or more employees, March 2014 THE RED HAT ADVANTAGE OpenShift Enterprise by Red Hat is a cloud computing platform as a service solution designed for on-premises or private cloud deployments. OpenShift Enterprise provides an on-demand, elastic, scalable, and fully configured application development, testing, and hosting environment for application developers so they can focus on coding new application services. Key Benefits: Gives application developers access to a self-service platform for building and running applications in the cloud. Gives IT operations a cloud platform with automated provisioning and scaling of applications. Provides a full suite of programming languages and developer tools for streamlining development processes. Allows IT to build and launch applications faster to better meet the needs of the business Red Hat is the world s leading provider of open-source solutions, using a community-powered approach to provide reliable and high-performance cloud, virtualization, storage, Linux, and middleware technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. Red Hat is an S&P company with more than 70 offices spanning the globe, empowering its customers businesses. Learn more at redhat.com.

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