Who writes PaaS apps in the enterprise?

I was asked this week at the Fusion 2008 conference, "who develops PaaS applications? The IT department, or the users?"

The answer, of course, is "both," with a
critical bonus for PaaS: that user-developed applications in a PaaS environment
can readily be brought into the IT portfolio if they prove to be successful and worthy
of scale-up.

"Rogue applications," as some people call them, can’t be accurately inventoried in a world of Excel and
Access — and can’t be broadly deployed without
unacceptable costs of either thick-client administration or migration to some
other application tool set.  An article appearing today on eWEEK.com observes that this
is a key IT concern
, saying:

Industry observers use the term "consumerization" to describe the phenomenon
whereby office workers are less likely to wait for the IT folks to equip them.

Analyst Rebecca Wettemann of software research firm Nucleus Research says
her company’s surveys of corporate technology users frequently turn up
the question: "Why can’t I do what I want without getting an OK from
IT?"…

"Individual people, not IT organizations, are driving the next wave of
[technology] adoption," Forrester Research said in a recent report.

Forrester refers to the movement toward user control and individual
empowerment as "Technology Populism," others refer to it as "Office 2.0." Less
sympathetically, consulting firm Yankee Group, in a 2007 report entitled "Zen
and the Art of Rogue Employee Management," sees it as a threat for IT
managers.

PaaS applications, of course, can scale
from a single user to tens of thousands of users at will: valued salesforce.com partners like Kailea Networks can be part of that story, as their tools (and the disciplines that
those tools enable) can help to maintain a governable IT asset portfolio despite growing decentralization of development efforts.

Published
March 7, 2008
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