The application development landscape has never been utterly stable, but it is changing once again now that mobility and cloud computing are entering the picture. IT professionals can now utilize ubiquitous architectures to enable continuous development cycles without worrying about the inability to streamline the process between initially creating solutions and launching them in the business environment.
At the same time, companies should not get carried away with the concept of the cloud and see it as the "new hardware." In a recent InfoWorld report, IT expert Eric Knorr highlighted how this concept is not necessarily true and does not have an impact on software development. Instead, Platform-as-a-Service should be seen as the "new app server," Knorr asserted, as this is more tangible to what is happening in the application ecosystem.
Knorr said that the PaaS movement is fundamentally changing the way application development shops function, as the newfound scalability of the cloud, in addition to the fact that the hosted landscape can support multiple coding languages, allows businesses to establish more holistic and comprehensive software cycles. The scalable nature of the cloud in particular means that development and operations teams can easily add capacity by implementing new servers. This on-demand capability makes launching more robust applications easier than in the past, especially now that these resources are replicated, which means that organizations are less likely to lose critical progress, even if an unplanned outage does occur.
Tomorrow's application environment
In the past, companies often struggled when maintaining application development processes, as nearly every solution was constructed in a different language, which required a unique build architecture. Knorr noted that this is not necessarily a problem anymore, as cloud-based development environments can support numerous languages, allowing teams to streamline the process and share information more easily. As a result, companies using these and other cutting-edge technologies are able to adhere to the evolving software market's needs more swiftly, such as creating mobile tools that can be used on several distinct platform types.
A separate IDC report highlighted the growing forecast for PaaS, noting that it is expected to generate more than $14 billion in revenue by 2017. This will largely be driven by the fact that companies are seeking more modernized application development and deployment processes, solutions and architectures – something that PaaS offers.
"The [compound annual growth rate] for the worldwide public PaaS 2013–2017 forecast is almost 30 percent," said Robert Mahowald, program vice president for SaaS and cloud software research at IDC. "Additionally, IDC research indicates that by 2017, public PaaS will account for more than 10 percent of overall application development and deployment revenue, with strong growth occurring in every region of the world, especially in Asia/Pacific (including Japan)."
In the coming years, the market for application development solutions will continue to expand, especially as organizations embrace DevOps and pursue more intuitive and streamlined techniques. By understanding how businesses can utilize the cloud and other technologies to make applications more reliably and efficiently, decision-makers introduce new competitive opportunities for their teams.