Blog | Wanted: A platform for innovation

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By Praveen Thakur

Praveen Thakur, ASEAN VP for Technology, Oracle Corporation

Industry leaders are embracing digital technologies at an ever-increasing pace to create innovative business processes that disrupt their markets. But many enterprises are still struggling to achieve the agility that?s so critical to their success. The reason? It?s simply taking too long.

Developing and testing new applications and setting up new environments can take weeks or even months. Just the task of maintaining the database and middleware that support all the application development and deployment environments can become so time consuming that IT has little opportunity to update or extend existing applications. As a result, innovation slows while the cost of supporting that innovation continues to rise.

Required: A cloud-based platform solution

Increasingly, organizations are finding that by using cloud-based platform offerings ? called platform as a service (PaaS) ? to develop and deploy applications, they can eliminate the cost and complexity of managing the underlying application platforms. Businesses that use PaaS have reported operational savings of up to 50 percent compared to using siloed technology stacks.

Simplifying the administration and management of your infrastructure, database, and middleware means:

? Developers can build new applications faster and more cost-effectively.

? IT organizations can shift focus from provisioning and maintaining environments to the strategic work of supporting and collaborating with the business.

? Business users can enhance employee productivity and automate business processes ? without involving IT.

And, with the pay-as-you-go delivery model, organizations can shift infrastructure and software costs from capital to predictable operational expenses ? making it easier to scale environments to meet the changing needs of the business.

Need: Empowering your enterprise

But not just any PaaS will do. What is needed is actually a PaaS Solution that offers an enterprise cloud platform that has the breadth and depth of functionality, such as:

? Integrate with existing business-critical IT systems. Optimize IT by running workloads where they run best ? on-premises or in the cloud ? and integrate business processes across these environments.

? Easily migrate between on-premises and the cloud, and back. Protect your investments by using the same reliable and secure Oracle software and hardware in the cloud and on-premises ? even as you evolve to a next generation infrastructure.

? Accelerate enterprise application innovation. Enjoy faster application development with easy-to-use tools and instant cloud access. Focus on innovation (not administration) with unparalleled automation and cloud tooling (including patching, backup/restore, and upgrades).

? Lead the transformation of your enterprise and your industry. Open the door to new business opportunities with disruptive cloud innovations using social and mobile services, Big Data, content collaboration, and the Internet of Things. Accelerate time to market with instant access, an intuitive user interface, and powerful productivity tools. Drive down costs through economies of scale and superior IT automation.

Precaution: Consideration before looking for PaaS

Enterprises need to consider the following broad guidelines while leveraging PaaS in their organization:

? Understanding the solution needs: Enterprises need to decide or optimize the trade-offs between time to market and solution cost. The PaaS product that offers the best time to market may not be the cheapest solution. It is important for enterprises to pick the right vendor that can deliver both reliable PaaS and reliable IaaS to deploy the resulting applications.

? Choice of products: Available organizational skills are important for implementation success. Picking mature, standards-based products with portability lowers risk when a vendor has a proven track record of success in providing mission-critical support.

? Future change requirements: Successful solution implementation is not always sufficient in satisfying a business need. The ability to quickly change functionality using automated infrastructure management as customer feedback is obtained is an important factor in choosing a PaaS platform. The ability of a solution to scale quickly while responding to unforeseen demands reduces risk and helps optimize revenue both directly and indirectly through improved customer satisfaction.

The author is the Asean VP for Technology at Oracle Corporation

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