Platform-as-a-service has been considered a laggard within the cloud services family, but analysts believe world-wide PaaS revenues will reach $3.5 billion in the next four years

Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) adoption has been relatively slow compared to the development experienced by other cloud services, however some industry analyst feel that PaaS is set for a growth spurt.

PaaS is a category of cloud computing that provides a computing platform and a solution stack as service. Using this model, providers typically offer network, servers, storage and other services while customers control software deployment and configure the settings. PaaS is supposed to help enterprise eliminate the cost of purchasing and managing the underlying hardware and software while enabling the deployment of applications.

Gartner Research expects worldwide PaaS revenue to reach $3.5 billion in 2017.

Last year, PaaS revenue totaled $1.2 billion up slightly from the $900 million revenue recorded the year before. By comparison revenue for all cloud services, including software-as-a-service, reached $109 billion in 2012.

PaaS adoption has been slow but the service could be entering its second generation, according to John Rymer, analyst for Forrester Research. He said that current and emerging PaaS solutions are “a little better suited for enterprise” now.

One indication that PaaS is gaining more adherent in the enterprise space is that development of a wider range of applications running on the services. .

While the notion that enterprise companies use PaaS to run non-critical applications such as collaboration sites and services that share publicly available data, Forrester said there a transformation is shaping.

Rymer said more large corporations have started working with PaaS on a cloud projects that include transactional apps and apps that manage sensitive data.

Find out more about how enterprise companies are using PaaS here

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