The SaaS market has been growing at rapid pace for several years, and that momentum shows little sign of slowing. While the market is dominated by a small handful of large vendors, the long tail of the SaaS market is filled with many up-and-coming companies who demonstrate tremendous innovation, and as such, are experiencing staggering growth. From a SaaS buyer perspective, expectations continue to heighten surrounding what software vendors should, and ultimately must, provide if they want to survive over the long term.
As 3rd Platform technologies continue to expand and evolve, businesses will need to continue to develop their digital transformation strategies to better provide customers the digital services and experiences they expect. Enterprise organizations are taking note; in the next two years, the number of “Digitally determined” organizations with a fully integrated enterprise-wide technology architecture will grow from 33% to nearly 90%. These organizations are committed from moving from an era of experimentation to multiplied innovation, the second chapter of IDC’s 3rd Platform technology framework.
While Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is more than 10 years old, the technology has not captured a level of market success commensurate with its mindshare – and has indeed lagged either SaaS or IaaS in terms of market presence. Yet in spite of its slow market growth, PaaS technology has continued to diversify and evolve to support the intensifying developer need for agility and productivity, especially as developers have assumed a front seat at the enterprise digital transformation table.
For the past 30+ years organizations have purchased technology platforms and deployed them on-premises. Most of these legacy systems create a technical debt that organizations find is a nightmare to manage. Customizations, maintenance, hardware and even version control have put the organization at an operational disadvantage.
There is an often-quoted economic theory that describes the balance that occurs when competitors in a market of a fixed size win or lose share depending on the success or failure of the other. The “zero sum game” (as it is known) has been cited so often since the financial crisis of the late 2000’s slowed global growth, that its continued use is becoming something of a cliché.