Cloud is the strategic platform for innovation in digital business. Application leaders facing decisions on application architecture and platform infrastructure must understand the key trends in, and embrace, PaaS to maximize their business agility.


Key Findings

  • Platform capabilities are now at the center of cloud innovation. More users deploy strategic business applications across IaaS, PaaS and SaaS to tap into continuous vendor innovation.
  • IaaS and PaaS form a platform continuum for technically demanding cloud initiatives. Business innovation initiatives merge PaaS and SaaS capabilities into a productivity platform continuum.
  • The serverless model is emerging as the native cloud platform architecture in digital business.
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) extends cloud platform sphere of influence to the edge.
  • Integration, event and API management services form the core of the hybrid integration platform at the center of digital business operations.
  • Database platform services (dbPaaS) have become the largest PaaS specialization, surpassing application platform services (aPaaS).


Application leaders seeking to modernize their application architecture and infrastructure must:

  • Engage the entire spectrum of platform capabilities in the cloud, not just the limited PaaS specializations that are the most popular today, such as aPaaS, adPaaS, iPaaS and dbPaaS.
  • Deploy both high-productivity and high-control platform services to facilitate close coordination between IT and business innovation and roadmap planning.
  • Prioritize platform services that have serverless characteristics unless high control is a priority.
  • Commit to strategic integration infrastructure and avoid tactical after-the-fact integration links.
  • Avoid exclusive vendor entanglements even if choosing a preferred megaPaaS suite provider.
  • Be prepared to manage increasingly strategic and sensitive data in the cloud.
  • Use intermediation services, including pervasive integration, API management and event brokering, as part of the strategic hybrid integration infrastructure.