Cloud computing is not a one-off project. It is not just an effort to move information from local databases to Cloud databases for ease of access. It is the creation of a scalable ecosystem of applications and services that empower workers and improve services to the consumer. In other words, the Cloud is not where computing is done. It is where the business of the enterprise is orchestrated for product or service delivery.
At the core is the enterprise application in the Cloud. Many organizations are taking application deployment, development and delivery to Cloud platforms. They are orchestrating both development and integration on platforms that are abstracted from the underlying infrastructure and can be made available anywhere, anytime and on any device. The Application as a Service (aPaaS) platform provides the environment for the development of Cloud-based applications and the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Service provides the tools required for governing the development and delivery of the software. Together, they extend the web service and enable delivery via Cloud infrastructures. Both on-premise and off-premise applications are supported by ALM.
Application as a service strategy (also called the software defined data center) allows pooling of core processes, network resources and storage infrastructures to the advantage of the organization. Storage becomes flexible, scalable, highly available and manageable in real time. However, the growing importance of application as a service is being driven by two factors: Big data and mobile workforces.
Cloud vendors are offering new solutions for the management of big data. These applications demand in-memory computing and rapid analysis for decision-making. As a result, the cost of deploying these applications in-house is phenomenal and it is simpler to use application as a service platform for this purpose. The solutions currently available in the market include Customer intelligence, Sensor data analytics, Supply Chain, and Operations.
Harnessing the power of the Cloud for the mobile workforce is another priority of application as a service. A significant amount of time and money is being spent on the development of applications for this class of consumers. The applications leverage the Internet and the Cloud concept to provide a low-risk, simplified and accelerated approach to addressing the key issues of mobile computing such as data access, data backup and data security.
But, application as a service is still in its infancy. There is much that is in the womb of the future.