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Redefining Software Platforms - How PaaS changes the game for ISVs - Intuit Developer Community Blog

October 12, 2009 | admin

Redefining Software Platforms – How PaaS changes the game for ISVs

The following is the introduction to a new 16-page report created by Phil Wainewright, “Redefining Software Platforms – How PaaS changes the game for ISVs”. The Table of Contents, information about the report and the author and a link to the report as .PDF can be found at the bottom of this blog post. Preparation of this report for publication was funded by Intuit, Inc.

Introduction: A New Kind of Platform

 

The rise of software as a service over the past decade has opened up new opportunities for independent software vendors to develop new applications hosted and delivered via the Web. But until recently, any ISV creating a SaaS offering has had to build its own hosting and service delivery infrastructure. That has all changed in the past two years with the rise of platform-as-a-service. PaaS is the online equivalent of conventional computing platforms, providing a ready-made infrastructure on which an ISV can rapidly build and deliver a SaaS application.

While many ISVs are understandably wary of binding their fate to that of an emerging platform provider, those who have stepped forward to become early adopters of PaaS have experienced dramatic reductions in development costs and timescales. By lowering barriers to entry and foreshortening time-to-market, PaaS supercharges SaaS, accelerating the pace of innovation and intensifying competition.

The advent of PaaS will change the game for ISVs – not only those who choose to introduce SaaS offerings, but also those who remain wedded to conventionally licensed, customer-operated software products. PaaS changes the competitive landscape across a swathe of parameters:

  • Dramatically faster innovation cycles. PaaS implements
    the iterative, continuous improvement upgrade model of
    SaaS, allowing developers to monitor and respond to
    customer usage and feedback, and rapidly incorporate the
    latest functionality into their own applications.
  • Hugely lowered price points. The shared, pay-as-you-go,
    elastic infrastructure of PaaS slashes developers’ costs
    across multiple dimensions, resulting in massively reduced
    development and operations costs.
  • Multiplicity of players from lowered barriers to entry.
    The low costs to get started on a PaaS provider’s
    infrastructure attract huge numbers of market entrants who
    would not be able to fund their own infrastructure,
    significantly increasing innovation and competition.
  • New business models, propositions, partner channels
    and routes to market.
    The ‘as-a-service’ business model
    opens up new ways of offering products and bringing them
    to market, many of them highly disruptive to established
    models.

To remain in control of their own destiny, it is imperative that ISVs understand and evaluate what PaaS can offer them. Key to that understanding is to recognize that PaaS is more than just another platform. It’s a new kind of platform. The dynamics of PaaS are different than conventional software platforms. Developers should beware of assessing PaaS alternatives on criteria that are no longer valid when applied to PaaS.

This report maps the landscape and introduces a new framework for evaluating PaaS providers.

Preparation of this report for publication was funded by Intuit, Inc.

 

Table of Contents:

 

A new kind of platform………………………………………………..… 3
Changing ISV business models…………………………………………. 4
New economics………………………………………………………..… 4
New go-to-market ………………………………………………….….. 5
New customer relationships ……………………………………….….. 6
Dynamics of PaaS………………………………………………………. 8
Distinctive features of PaaS as a platform………………………….. 8
Multi-tenancy…………………………………………………………… 9
Web community and APIs……………………………………………… 9
Continuous innovation…………………………………………………. 9
Meta-customization……………………………………………………. 9
Service delivery infrastructure ………………………………………..10
PaaS portability …………………………………………………………10
Interplay with other assets ……………………………………………11
‘Metaplatform’ assets …………………………………………………..11
Legacy assets …………………………………………………………..11
Ecosystem partner strategies …………………………………………11
Platform plays in the PaaS era …………………………………………12
Ingredients of classic ISV platforms ………………………………….12
How PaaS redefines software platforms ……………………………..13
Considerations for ISVs selecting PaaS ………………………………15
Seizing the opportunity ………………………………………………. 16

 

Download the report (.PDF):

 

 

About the Report

Published by Procullux Media Limited for general information, this 
document presents independent research and analysis compiled by 
Procullux Ventures in good faith from best available sources. 

 

Preparation of this report for publication was funded by Intuit, Inc.

 

About the Author

 

Phil Wainewright is one of the world's foremost authorities on emerging trends in business automation. He is a prolific writer with a ZDNet blog on Software as a Service, an eBizQ blog on The Connected Web, and a series of influential analyst reports to his name. He serves as CEO of Procullux Ventures, a London-based strategic consultancy working with leading business automation vendors and their customers.

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