"Forget it. Take a basic application, no corner case, no sophistication, and give it a try — because the most important thing is to get up to speed. You need to learn. So don't muddle that experience with some corner case. Those will be obvious to solve once you get past the initial hurdle. Take an easy project and get started."
Then, says Sacha, if your policy permits, take a real project, push it to production (or pre-production) on a PaaS, and try it there. "What you want to do is to get back to IT with factual information about how this is a good option. You don't want to have a theoretical discussion with IT as to whether it is a good option or a bad option. You're gonna lose in that case."
Nothing succeeds like success. For example, if you can create a project and push it to production with complete test coverage in under a month, IT is going to like that. "That's where you need to turn the tables," says Sacha. "Then you say: 'I'd like you to give me a competitive offering where I can get started on the project in under a day. I want to be able to go to production without having to talk to you guys, I want to be able to push an iteration by some set date. I don't want to pre-pay for my machine, because maybe the project will turn out to be a bad idea.'"
According to Sacha, as developers work in the cloud, grow their expertise, and get what they need, they'll be its staunchest defenders. Eventually, core IT itself will start defending the use of PaaS.
In the near term, a lot of PaaS will be adopted through the usual channels, such as sneaking in via shadow IT projects. Only the best-run companies will come to terms with shadow IT and formalize it as fast IT and control it with core IT. As for the rest, well, as a consultant, I make a lot of money on server stack buildouts.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.