Other coders and devops pros want to be more hands on with the infrastructure. For these developers, platforms like AWS and Microsoft score highly. As Infrastructure-as-a-Service platform providers, these vendors give users the ability to control the virtual machines, storage and databases their applications run on. Salesforce (with its Heroku platform), IBM and Google scored favorably for coder-specific and Devops-friendly clouds, too.
Complicating this issue is another trend that Forrester has found. The cloud market is becoming more complex as vendors overlap their services.
For example, AWS and Rackspace were once considered pure IaaS vendors. Now they fashion their clouds as not only platforms for IaaS functions like hosting virtual machines and databases, but they also provide Platform-as-a-Service offerings such as middleware and application development environments for building applications. Meanwhile, PaaS vendors offer the ability to build applications on their platforms, while enabling developers to customize the underlying infrastructure as well. And SaaS providers like Salesforce.com, Intuit, NetSuite, Box and others are allowing customers to build applications in their cloud that integrate closely with their hosted software.
The blurring of the lines among vendors reinforces Forrester's point that instead of considering vendors based on whether they're in the IaaS, PaaS or SaaS market, CIOs should evaluate providers based on the platform they offer to developers.
With a fast-moving cloud computing market expected to continue to spur innovations, Forrester says it's important to consider many factors related to finding the right provider: Does their platform match the developer style within your enterprise? Does it meet your security and compliance needs? Are there any integrations with existing systems or platforms that need to be considered? Those end up being the driving factors for choosing providers.
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