The potential impact of PaaS on your business is in many way dictated by the differences between what PaaS solutions can offer and the available opportunities your internally-hosted development platform can provide. The pros and cons of these options can vary greatly, particularly as most companies employ customized or adapted on-site development avenues rather than one set platform as is the case with most PaaS applications.
Perhaps the largest way in which PaaS differs from an internally-hosted platform is the uniformity. Most PaaS solutions are sold as-is, or largely as-is. This means that all customers are working with the same development tools in the same manner rather than whatever an in-house IT team can develop. In many ways, this can be a benefit. Most PaaS products offer sophisticated options that go above and beyond what an internal team can produce, particularly for small businesses without complex needs. For companies still determining what they need and the scale of future problems, this is highly advantageous.
Further, PaaS solutions reduce the IT burden. Nothing is stored on-site, data centers and infrastructure are managed by a third party, and support is handled largely by PaaS providers rather than on-site assets. Upgrades are generally automatically pushed by PaaS vendors rather than requiring manual rollouts, ensuring all tools and options are as up to date as possible – something not always an option for companies with limited tech budgets. Scalability can be limited with PaaS products but can still allow for greater flexibility than in-house products.
However, in some cases, an internally-hosted platform can offer benefits serverless computing can’t. The ability to create a fully custom environment that goes above and beyond what PaaS can provide can be necessary, especially for companies with niche needs that can’t be accommodated by a one-size-fits-all solution. Attempting to force development needs into a pre-designed program can limit development opportunities. Also, all tools are selected and maintained by the PaaS provider, so there’s no good way to expand offerings should needs change.
Security can also be a concern; for companies with a strong focus on security and high-end on-site resources, allowing a third party to oversee development projects and trusting data to remain secure can be uncomfortable. In many ways, a sophisticated in-house platform can overcome the potential limitations of PaaS solutions, especially for companies with a robust approach to development already in place. Implementing PaaS can also cause compatibility issues for companies not already transitioned to a cloud-based platform, resulting in a balancing act between networks and resources.