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IoT boom spells PaaS opportunity for MSPs

Gartner says that while IoT will drive the use of Platform as a Service over the next four years, more than 80% of organisations deploying self-managed PaaS will not achieve their lofty ambitions

While the Tier 1 public cloud vendors scramble to stamp their name on the Internet of Things in the IaaS space, Gartner believes that private PaaS will play an increasingly significant role in the IoT-revolution.

The clairvoyant analyst firm said that by 2020, more than half of all new applications developed on PaaS will be IoT-centric and that the widespread adoption of IoT will place a greater emphasis on PaaS, disrupting conventional architecture practices.

"IoT adoption will drive additional use of PaaS to implement IoT-centric business applications built around event-driven architecture and IoT data, instead of business applications built around traditional master data," said Benoit Lheureux, research vice president at Gartner. "New IoT-centric business applications will drive a transformation in application design practices that focus on real-time contextually rich decisions, event-analysis, lightweight workflow, and broad access to Web-scale data."

Public PaaS has always been a tough sell for larger enterprises due to the fact that any public offering, by its very nature, runs on top of the vendor’s IaaS and is therefore tied to a technology stack that may not necessarily be right for the organisation. With PaaS destined to play a greater role in the age of interconnected-things, organisations will increasingly be looking to private PaaS as a viable solution. However, Gartner warned that, in the short term at least, the vast majority of organisations designing and deploying self-managed PaaS frameworks would fail.

“By investing in cloud platforms, enterprise IT leaders are seeking some or all of the key benefits of cloud for their new IT initiatives,” said the report. “However, in the next three years, many self-managed private PaaS initiatives will fail to meet the IT organisation leadership's expectations of cloud characteristics. The tension between the forces in favour of private PaaS and those demanding the full public cloud experience will intensify as self-managed private cloud disappoints.”

As a result, Gartner said that - in the near term - ‘managed PaaS’ would emerge as the most effective solution for organisations looking to develop IoT applications in the cloud.

Whether PaaS is managed on-prem, or hosted in public or private clouds, Gartner’s prediction presents a short-term opportunity for MSPs looking to make a play in the IoT space.

"Success with a private cloud (including PaaS) requires a recognition of the essential cultural and organisational changes to IT organisations, as well as technology changes," said Yefim V. Natis, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "Lacking this understanding leads many organizations to stop their PaaS investment at the point of technology deployment - leading to disappointing results down the road."

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