Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent
October, 19th 2012

Kevin Thompson, Manager, Center for Applied Insights, IBM

By Kevin Thompson

While the 19th century experienced an industrial revolution that focused on manufacturing, the early part of this century is arguably about industrializing IT.

For the past 30 years, most enterprise organizations aiming to offer an application or IT solution have had to do much of the heavy lifting themselves – starting from scratch – building their own technology stack from the ground up and then managing everything in-house and on-premise. 

Today, of course, those same organizations can procure computing resources and basic software services on-demand, expediting their go-to-market plans and minimizing both upfront and long-term costs.

The next phase of the industrialization of IT is now happening in the middle, or the platform layer of cloud computing. Just as auto manufacturers build several models on the same chassis, IT organizations are driving down costs and speeding up time-to-market leveraging a common, standardized cloud platform. This allows enterprises to focus their efforts on core competencies and building innovative software on top to truly deliver a competitive advantage – and doing it faster than the competition.    

A new IBM Center for Applied Insights survey of more than 1,500 IT decision makers from 18 countries found that forward-looking IT leaders are blazing the trail with early adoption of this kind of cloud – called Platform as a Service – for business advantage.  We call these leaders the “Pioneers” and they represent 16 percent of the survey sample.

The study also showed that while fewer than 20 percent of respondents are currently using PaaS, more than 50 percent of IT decision-makers see the strategic importance of PaaS as a way to drive innovation and improve the whole application lifecycle across the enterprise.

The study’s key findings include:

  1. Among Pioneers, 52 percent are driving towards application integration and better data management. In fact, Big Data was the top reason to deploy PaaS.
  2. The current and planned usage rate for Pioneers is three times higher for analytics than other respondents.
  3. Pioneers were almost twice as likely to identify pattern-related qualities, such as portable, standardized, and repeatable, as highly valuable compared with the rest of the respondents.

The PaaS Pioneers, who value speed to market and understand the business advantages of analytics and big data, also recognize that the time savings, along with PaaS’s pay-as-you-go subscription model, can help drive down costs.

These are the cutting edge organizations that see the evolution of PaaS for what it is – the next era of IT industrialization.

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