The platform-as-a-service space will be the next battleground for cloud service providers, as the infrastructure-as-a-service and software-as-a-service markets face commoditization, according to a study by Frost & Sullivan.
Frost & Sullivans new Asia-Pacific Platform as a Service Market 2011 report shows that in that region the PaaS market is attracting considerable interest from businesses due to the flexibility it brings to application development and SaaS.
As most software available from the cloud is standardized, enterprises are looking to leverage PaaS offerings as it will be the only stack where a service provider can create differentiation.
Frost & Sullivan said the Asia-Pacific PaaS market had revenues of $43.2 million in 2010 and will reach $523 million in 2016. Frost & Sullivan provides consulting and services to companies poised for growth.
"The growing developer community, with an increasing number of small/part-time developers, is also creating a strong opportunity for the market," said Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Mayank Kapoor, in a statement. "PaaS provides them access to a scalable IT infrastructure and the tools required to develop and test their applications, on a pay-as-you-go basis."
The high level of flexibility and the ability to reduce costs while developing, testing and deploying new applications is creating a strong case for greater adoption of PaaS, the Frost & Sullivan report said.
Although enterprises have begun to recognize the benefits and need for cloud computing, PaaS is still only a fledgling concept. Its lack of regulation and standardization has restrained adoption among enterprises in the highly regulated sectors, Frost and Sullivan said.
Moreover, the differences in the choice of platforms, such as Java, Ruby, or others represented by CloudBees, Heroku and a growing list of players -- are hindering porting applications and data between PaaS vendors and to on-premise, the report said.
Therefore, openness and integration with other platforms and mobile devices will be important in the future. Constant technical innovations will ensure that the PaaS market evolves and sheds its embryonic tag, Frost & Sullivan said in a press release on the report.
Meanwhile, Frost & Sullivan predicts that the PaaS market will continue to attract new players as it matures. The influx of competitors can also be attributed to enterprises' demand for local data center presence of cloud service providers, the company said. For instance, today, an increasing number of companies are demanding that IT teams serve as internal service providers.
"There is increasing pressure amongst both internal IT teams and third-party service providers to streamline operations through automation and intelligent management," said Kapoor. "Cloud can be one of the frontline options to meet this demand and eventually, will bode well for PaaS."
Frost & Sullivans Asia-Pacific Platform as a Service market 2011 study is part of the companys Communications Services Growth Partnership Service program. The growth partnership services program includes research in: Asia Pacific Business Applications as a Service Market, Asia Pacific Infrastructure as a Service Market, WAN Services Market, and Asia Pacific Data Center Services Update.