February 3, 2012 – An increase in enterprise platform as a service adoption last year will lead to greatly expanded offerings, standards and maturity by 2016. Underneath that, however, will be the tension between short-term risk and long-term strategy with the middleware service, according to a new report from Gartner.

The report, “PaaS 2012: Tactical Risks and Strategic Rewards,” reflects on the analyst firm’s expectations of that marketplace during the next few years after what it called a “pivotal” year in 2011 for software vendor announcements and enterprise strategy with PaaS. Gartner defines PaaS as the layer of cloud architecture that contains all application infrastructure services and middleware.

Yefim Natis, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner, says that PaaS for middleware products like application servers and database management systems will develop into core offerings for traditional software vendors by the end of 2013. Even with that growth, enterprise uncertainty over the long-range gains from adding or shifting to a middleware service will “define the key developments in the PaaS market during the next two to three years."

For a slide show on as-a-service definitions, click here.

Still, in the report Gartner forecasts development and competition among PaaS vendors to result in new programming models, new standards and new software market leaders by 2016. Natis says that, by and large, PaaS adoption will come into its own as more of an enterprise strategy that combines cloud and on-premise solutions, rather than completely replacing existing solutions and on-site services. PaaS will also grow from adoptions in other as-a-service realms, particularly infrastructure- and software as a Service, Natis says.

“All three layers of the cloud architecture – IaaS, PaaS and SaaS – are developing at the same time, though PaaS is the last to come into prominence. PaaS is emerging as users of IaaS run into its limitations and users of SaaS look to build unique solutions next to their established SaaS services,” says Natis, who authored the Gartner report.

Click here to access the report.

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