Platform as a Service

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by Syed Balkhi Founder of WPBeginner

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What is Platform as a Service?

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a cloud computing model that provides users with an online platform for developing, testing, delivering, and managing applications and services. 

This means that you can easily create and launch apps and software products without having to start from scratch.

It removes the need for businesses to buy and maintain their own hardware infrastructure. This happens by allowing developers to focus on building applications without worrying about underlying IT infrastructure.

PaaS solutions are essentially an integrated package of software features that can be accessed through a single platform. And they generally cover basic infrastructure, maintenance, and capacity management. 

With PaaS, organizations, especially startups, can benefit in several ways that we’ll explore in the next section.

Benefits of PaaS for startups

Why is a PaaS model so appealing and helpful to startups?

The main reason is that it reduces the need to reinvent the wheel.

Here’s a look at the specific benefits startups get when they leverage a PaaS product.

  • It provides cost savings since startups won’t need to buy, install and maintain their own hardware and software solutions.
  • A business can quickly deploy applications without having to manage the infrastructure needed to do so.
  • A PaaS enables startups to scale up fast to support increased user demand or a sudden growth in the customer base. You can even reduce the usage if you’re having a period with low activity levels. 
  • Startups benefit from automating routine tasks like provisioning, patching, backup/restore, and more. These tasks are handled by the PaaS platform or supported by it. 
  • There is increased flexibility as applications can be deployed on multiple platforms from a single PaaS platform. A good PaaS will allow startups to launch on different operating systems or platforms without any additional coding or configuration changes.
  • Startups can collaborate easily with third parties to develop custom applications and projects.
  • There is improved security because PaaS have built-in compliance standards and control mechanisms.

There are so many benefits to using a PaaS that it makes sense to work with one instead of trying to build everything from scratch.

You can launch applications to multiple operating systems and do it faster. And startups can benefit from world-class security measures without taking on the responsibility themselves.

How to choose the right provider for your business needs

There are many PaaS providers out there. And it can be challenging for a startup owner to choose the right one. It’s important to know what you’re looking for when choosing a PaaS.

Here are several factors to think about when picking a PaaS solution provider.

  • Check the provider’s track record and reputation in the industry. You can understand more about their reputation by looking at how long they’ve existed and by checking out third-party reviews.
  • Ensure that the PaaS provider has reliable customer support to deal with issues. Study their customer support policies and check online reviews for customer service ratings and feedback.
  • Make an inquiry into the PaaS solution to ensure the platform supports the development languages and frameworks your team needs.
  • Ensure that the platform enables integration with external services such as databases, analytics solutions, and more.
  • Consider the basic pricing structure. And also, check what additional fees are charged for extra usage or capacity.
  • Check that security protocols meet industry standards.

It may take some time, but doing your research will help you avoid mistakes in the future, especially ones where you could be forced to move from one PaaS to another. 

And don’t forget to make use of any trials, credits, and demos to get hands-on experience with the PaaS system. As you learn more about different PaaS options, you’ll favor some over others. Getting a real feel for how a solution works will give you all the information you need to make the right choice.

Examples of PaaS businesses

Here are some of the most recognized PaaS businesses and how startups can use them to grow their business. 

Google Cloud Run

Google Cloud Run is made specifically to support the development of apps and software.

Google’s Cloud Run system helps startups by handling cloud infrastructure, middleware software, and user interface.

It is great for startups and development teams that want to containerize their applications quickly and easily. Google’s PaaS has several of the features mentioned under the benefits section in this post, such as:

  • Built-in security tools
  • Enabling code in any language
  • Serverless option so that all you have to do is upload your code, and you’re ready to go
  • Easy scalability whenever your traffic moves up or down

Since this PaaS belongs to the Google brand, you can be sure it will be secure and fast. However, navigating the interface can be tough, and you should be prepared for a learning curve to use it well.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS is a powerful cloud computing service. And working with AWS helps you avoid capacity planning, procurement, maintenance, and other activities so that you can focus on your applications.

With AWS, you get several models for cloud computing: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), PaaS, and Software as a Service (SaaS).

You can work with AWS for your PaaS needs. It will allow you to manage and deploy your software and apps while the platform does the work for you regarding infrastructure, maintenance, and so on.

And this provider is a good option for you if you want to consider options other than cloud-only deployments. AWS has facilities for a hybrid and on-premise option where you can use both the cloud and your current on-site infrastructure.

The future of PaaS and how it will continue to evolve

It’s worth considering what the future of PaaS will look like. At present, the use of cloud technology is solidly in place. But there are many businesses that still need to make use of the benefits of cloud computing.

PaaS will play a major role in helping companies achieve their goals by deploying projects faster and making use of already existing services online.

Here are some ways that PaaS will evolve:

  • Increased integration of Machine Learning and AI: PaaS will continue to integrate machine learning and AI capabilities into its solutions, making it easier for businesses to leverage these technologies.
  • More scalable solutions: As businesses need more scalable solutions, PaaS will provide the flexibility to adjust resources as needed while keeping costs down easily.
  • Improved security measures: With better security protocols in place, companies can trust their data is safe and secure when using a PaaS solution.
  • Automation of routine tasks: Automating routine tasks such as patching, backup, restoring, and more, makes it easier for teams to focus on developing applications without worrying about underlying infrastructure issues.
  • Enhanced collaboration with third parties: Through enhanced collaboration tools like APIs, developers can work together seamlessly on custom application development projects from anywhere in the world.

And finally, we should see the pricing for PaaS services go down as competition increases and more companies choose to use PaaS instead of building their own infrastructure.

Ultimately, the future of PaaS looks bright and startups should be ready to take advantage of this technology.

Suggested mentors to help you make sense of Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Eugene Hauptmann

Technologist & Serial Enterpreneur

Eugene is a faith-centric technologist, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, advisor, mentor. Founder @reactivelions

Jan Alvin Pabellon

Product Management, Fintech, API, SaaS, International Expansion // Chief Product Officer @ Smile API

My expertise is in product & marketing strategy, product development, and user experience. Happy to answer any questions or share any insights around any of these areas, including topics related to B2B business models, international strategy, Fintech and Enterprise SaaS.

Ashiq Korikkar

Head of Growth & Analytics @ Ziina

I am passionate about delivering meaningful economic and social impact via technology. I have over 7 years of experience in big tech firms (Uber/Careem, Shopee) and management consulting with experience is product led growth, leadership, analytics and business development. Studied Computer Science.

Jason Amunwa

Product management, growth, & data analysis expert

I’m an experienced B2C & B2B SaaS product leader; with 10 product launches, 3 acquisitions, and 13 years of marketing under my belt. I specialize in analytics, UX, product strategy, & helping you find quick, easy growth opportunities for your business.

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