But, it is still early days, and many of these companies still only have offerings in beta form, including Red Hat and Oracle. Microsoft Azure and VMware Cloud Foundry are two of the leading PaaS plays now, Gartner says. The term is hyped, though, because of the breadth of vendors looking to tap into the space, and the potential for the services that could be included in the PaaS layer, ranging from applications development to integration, business process management, database management and messaging. But in the early stages of the industry few vendors offer those spectrum of services.
After a technology is introduced, its benefits are widely touted by vendors and early adopters. Then reality sets in, or what Gartner describes as the "trough of disillusionment."
Public cloud storage: Not having to buy servers to store your data is one of the chief benefits cloud proponents have advocated. Instead of buying expensive equipment to store all your data on your own site, it can be sent up to the cloud where your provider will hold it and it can be accessed from anywhere, or so goes the Cinderella story of cloud storage.
But in the last year, the realities of the technology have begun to set in, Gartner says. High-profile service outages from some of the biggest names in the cloud industry, including Amazon Web Services and Salesforce.com, have soured some users' appetites for storing mission-critical information in the cloud. Gartner says there are unpredictable usage costs, which turn others off to the technology. The firm recommends exploring public cloud storage options for non-mission critical applications, such as file sharing, archiving and backup. "Gartner does not expect full-scale adoption to occur until cost, legal, security and infrastructure integration issues are sufficiently addressed to reduce the risk of entry by large enterprises," the report states.
Past the Peak
After a technology has been introduced, the market has become disillusioned by it, and then good technologies begin to rebound in popularity, or what Gartner calls a "slope of enlightenment," Gartner says. These are technologies that are market-proven and are entering beyond the hype phase and into the mainstream.
SaaS: Gartner predicts that for the first time, more than half of organizations are using some form of SaaS, which has moved the technology beyond the peak of hype and toward mainstream adoption. But the SaaS market is broad in and of itself, and Gartner notes that while it is proven in some markets, it "remains nascent in complex applications markets, such as ERP." The process of having an application be owned, delivered and managed by a provider, the report says, can create efficiencies for an organization, especially smaller businesses that do not have an IT shop to support application maintenance or the accompanying infrastructure. But, while SaaS may create a savings in the first two years of a deployment because it removes the need for capital expenses, the operational expenses can remain the same, diminishing the net impact of SaaS after a few years.
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