Legacy to digital made simple by PaaS

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While it’s true that PaaS is an enabler of cloud-native development, it’s also a great environment...

In our 2017 research report, Cloud native comes of age, we revealed that the number of new enterprise applications built natively in the cloud will more than double by 2020.

Indicative of a wider shift towards a more agile, continuous approach to software development, legacy organizations can no longer ignore the precedent set by cloud-native startups and their more progressive competitors.

But when your organization is grounded in siloed, on-premises architecture, is keeping pace with the cloud a realistic goal to pursue? Absolutely – and it’s simpler than you may think.

The secret is automation enabled by Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Fast Mover or Follower?

PaaS is frequently seen as a tool for cloud native – something for the new kids on the block, not the old guard. While it’s true that PaaS is an enabler of cloud-native development, it’s also a great environment to automate legacy systems without needing to rearchitect.

In our new research study, The automation advantage, we surveyed 415 global organizations at varying stages of applying automation to their IT operations. The results show a clear divide in measurable benefits between the 20% most advanced in their use of automation (Fast Movers) and those at earlier stages of maturity (Followers).

The report also shows that automation does more than just help organizations accelerate legacy processes, enabling them to transform the wider business into a more agile, flexible, and profitable organization:

  • 75% say automation has helped boost overall revenue and profitability
  • 86% say automation has benefitted the end-customer experience
  • 75% say automation has helped them change their business models
  • 59% say automation has enabled engineers to work on higher-value activities.

But just how easy is it to kick-start your own autonomous transformation and join the Fast Movers?

Confidence in PaaS

Introducing PaaS for the purpose of automation can be something of a culture shock for some organizations. Age-old silos are broken down in favor of DevOps, and suddenly everyone is called upon to align business goals with automation. But as Jennifer Jones explained in her blog Is automation the key to innovation, these are necessary changes to nurture cultural awareness and confidence in its value to the business.

A great place to start is at the top – with the CEO and CFO – as their confidence will help trickle down wider cultural awareness among employees and stakeholders. But first, it’s important that you’re clear about the benefits PaaS can deliver, including:

  • Faster time to market through continuous integration and delivery
  • Rapid development, moving from concept to code in minutes
  • Improved productivity by eliminating undifferentiated heavy lifting
  • Automated failure response, self-healing, and recovery for faster operations.

And should the platform require an update, this can be done independently of the applications it supports with zero risk of downtime. But bear in mind, when investing in PaaS, it also helps to select and implement the right pattern for each app you wish to benefit. This could be through co-existence, lift and shift, refactoring, replacing, or transforming.

“In the coming two years, a comprehensive PaaS automation investment will drive double-digit growth across all organizational agility KPIs and make the ROI of digital transformation a reality.”
Pankaj Sehgal, cloud-native leader at Capgemini North America

“Companies making the shift to cloud native devote roughly one-quarter of their total cloud spending on PaaS today, and plan to boost their investment to 44% of the total within three years.”
Clifton Menezes, cloud leader at Capgemini India

Pick the right PaaS

With C-suite support, your next step will be to evaluate and pinpoint a PaaS strategy that’s suitable for your organization. There are three main strategies we advise you to consider:

  • Public PaaS
    The use of public cloud providers for developing applications (such as AWS Elastic Beanstalk or Microsoft Azure)
  • Traditional PaaS
    The provider-agnostic approach enabling you to run open-source platform technologies (such as Pivotal Cloud Foundry) on any cloud
  • Custom PaaS
    The use of containers and orchestration technologies such as Docker, Kubernetes, and Mesos.

Choosing the right PaaS takes time and informed consideration. Gather your teams, speak to your peers, and be sure to raise the following questions:

  • What are your architecture requirements – for example, do you require a hybrid service if you plan on combining on-premises and cloud-based services?

What level of investment can be made and what kind of pricing model do you hope to receive?

  • Do you want a provider-managed (out-of-the-box) or self-managed (do-it-yourself) PaaS? How important is it you manage your own infrastructure?
  • What degree of flexibility and capabilities do you require – for example, what kind of integration and data analytics services are needed?

A partner who can help

Diving into the world of PaaS can be a little overwhelming, and as you’ll discover, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to automation. Every organization is different, which is why it pays to find a partner with the expertise to help you zero in on the right PaaS solution for you.

Next steps

Don’t go on this journey alone. Contact Capgemini today on to define your automation roadmap and how PaaS can help you get to your destination, fast.

Get the full report

To learn more about automation and its role in enabling innovation, read The automation advantage.

To benchmark your own organization – and find out whether you’re a Fast Mover or a Follower – take our survey

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