Businesses looking for fast, cost-efficient enterprise software solutions should consider the benefits of application platform as a service (aPaaS).
There’s a reason that the aPaaS market is expected to grow from $9 billion in 2018 to around $11.7 billion in 2023 — it lets businesses develop applications without the cost, time, liability, or integration challenges associated with developing from scratch.
More and more businesses realize that aPaaS offers an ideal balance between pre-built capabilities and customization. These platforms enable developers to create the specific applications they need on top of an existing stack. The result is more control, a better end product, and the convenience of a scalable cloud solution.
For businesses looking to develop differentiating enterprise software, here are five key reasons to consider using an aPaaS:
1) Speed of Deployment
As noted in this 2016 Forrester report, speed is crucial for adapting to “shifting competitive drivers.” Spending too much time on app development puts businesses at risk of getting caught flat-footed when markets change. To meet market demands, apps have to be concepted, developed, and implemented as quickly as possible (in weeks versus years) in order to meet market demands. With the robust pre-built infrastructure that an aPaaS delivers, businesses can build apps quickly in response to evolving market demands.
2) Cost Control
By leveraging the benefits of aPaaS, companies save on the estimated and sometimes hidden costs of building software from scratch. The platform partner has already invested in developing and testing much of the platform — an investment that can effectively be spread across multiple clients. With an aPaaS, developers only need to build 20% of the app, which frees them up for other projects. Plus, businesses can access economies of scale as the infrastructure is maintained by the service provider.
It’s difficult to anticipate how much, or in what ways, your business will scale. Instead, it’s best to be prepared with a platform that’s able to grow as you do. With an aPaaS solution, scaling is simplified, as the underlying infrastructure is built to be flexible and elastic. Containerized applications mean adding functions doesn’t require a total overhaul. And a cloud-based IT infrastructure allows you to scale function or storage as quickly or as slowly, as large or as small as you want — without a second thought. In addition, updates are taken off your plate — they’re the responsibility of the platform partner, who will continue to provide the necessary deployments as you grow.
When you’re developing a much-needed business solution, the last thing you want is to be held back by the limitations of your chosen technology. Pre-packaged solutions may seem simple, but they are more rigid when it comes to customization. With an aPaaS, however, you can avoid vendor lock-ins that prevent differentiation. You can code custom applications as needed on top of foundational code, and integrate them with existing infrastructure and data. When you bring new devices or new systems into the equation, it’s simple to integrate their functionality.
With greater flexibility, aPaaS also provides a pathway for a robust development process, in which you can test your application and refine as needed. Feedback from field deployment is invaluable in ultimately designing a real solution for your organization. You can repeat this feedback cycle even after the application has been deployed, and stay responsive to actual user needs.
5) Baked-In Integration:
One of the major benefits of aPaaS solutions is the ability to integrate data across the board. This means you can integrate your new platform with your existing systems and data sources. If you have legacy software investments, a clean version of that data can be sent to the aPaaS platform. If you have an existing IoT array, you can fold that data into the new application without having to pull data manually from various systems.
You can also build multiple applications on top of a single platform. There’s no reason you can’t take that core foundational platform, with all your integrated data, and create several applications with different objectives. In addition, these apps will themselves transform data into useful insights that can be easily fed back into the platform or sent to other applications. Because aPaaS apps are fundamentally compatible, informational cross-pollination is practically seamless and can help break down data silos between departments or teams.
Everything You Need. Nothing You Don’t.
With aPaaS, organizations can take advantage of a solution that’s built to be customized. The right platform is designed to integrate with diverse data sources, devices, and systems, so that users can have access to all essential information. Your in-house developers will be set up to pick and choose exactly the functions they need, and pivot according to market demands. The result is a cheaper, faster solution — and an application with the flexibility and customization that you need to grow your business.