In last week’s blog, I talked about how I feel like Marty McFly in the movie Back to the Future. With recent trends within IT, we are returning to where we have already been-a “one stop” compute environment reminiscent of one that existed 30 years ago. We are evolving to an environment that combines hardware and software into one package but with new technologies. This time, however, I think it’s here to stay and will have a significant impact on Business Apps.

 

The first blog discussed the impact of the first stop on this journey: leveraging cloud resources for load and test and application development. Today, I want to talk about the next step in this journey: Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).

 

PaaS Comes to Life

Today, when Business Apps wants a development or testing environment, we usually have to specify the hardware and software. But what if we could order a complete environment based on functional requirements and not on technology with just a few clicks?  That’s what PaaS is all about.

 

PaaS will enable Business Apps to choose its functional requirements from a menu of options already created by the infrastructure team. Business Apps would have access to ecosystems that were created automatically using on-premises, cloud resources, or a combination of resources tailored to the application requirements. This eliminates the inevitable time delays associated with developing these environments on an ad-hoc basis. Business Apps could finally get out of the infrastructure business.

 

Taking this one step further, we could apply the power of PaaS to shadow IT and deliver a complete ecosystem to business customers in the early stages of a project. Who is better qualified than business customers to play with an application at that stage? Both the business and IT benefit from this symbiotic approach.  IT would help foster innovation in our customers’ natural environment but within our parameters and standards. The standards would act as bumper guards to ensure the application could be easily transferred back to IT when the time is right.

 

The benefits of an infrastructure-agnostic environment don’t stop there. Moving beyond our data center environment to the cloud as the primary platform for delivery of critical services in the event of an outage is a powerful incentive to the Business Apps team. It enables us to think beyond our current capabilities to a time when application configurations and footprints sit in the cloud, accessible as needed. This removes one of the biggest worries of any global Business Apps team-keeping applications up and running.

 

Imagining the Future of Business Apps

Business Apps is on a journey into a world where the convergence of a stable IT infrastructure, service delivery mindset, and hybrid cloud mindset is offering dramatic new opportunities for business agility. We hope to be propelled into a future that we glimpsed in the past. The new IT environment contributes to both innovation and agility in the business, which speaks to the very core of NetApp’s success. Unfortunately we don’t have Doc Brown’s DeLorean to get us their instantly, but we are building the infrastructure-agnostic environment that promises to get us to that future someday.

 

The NetApp-on-NetApp blog series features advice from subject matter experts from NetApp IT who share their real-world experiences using NetApp’s industry-leading storage solutions to support business goals. Want to learn more about the program? Visit www.NetAppIT.com.

MikeCapener