Most organizations are comfortable with cloud and have implemented cloud services at some level within their IT portfolio. Whether through software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions such as Salesforce, or HR platforms such as Workday or Office 365, few companies can say they are not in the cloud. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions on AWS, Azure and now Google are gaining increasingly higher levels of adoption within enterprises. Finally, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings are where AWS, Azure and Google are beginning to differentiate themselves, creating more cloud adoption.
The next wave of integrated cloud services focuses on directly enabling business services – without worrying about either the number of central processing units (CPUs) required, or the container architecture.
PaaS vs. Cloud Business Solutions
PaaS solutions, such as managed Kubernetes for containers, can provide immediate value to a company. They not only strip away the need for administrators to build and manage the underlying infrastructure, such as IaaS services, but they also manage the middleware and complex technology platforms, such as the aforementioned Kubernetes.
New cloud business solutions abstract these layers even further, similar to SaaS solutions, where an organization’s responsibilities lie only with the basic service configuration and data management. But whereas PaaS still focuses on the technology silo of a business, these business solutions platforms directly enable the lines of business to accelerate the execution of their objectives.
While these cloud business solution platforms can be similar to SaaS offerings, one of their points of added value is the ease of data integration. As cloud platform providers develop and mature new business solutions on their platforms, back-end applications and databases already deployed on the same cloud platform, may now only require you to build a workflow for integration to the business service. This replaces professional services engagements, to save you time and money. Let us look at a few examples of how organizations can take advantage of these services.
- A company wants to provide their customers with real-time video analysis and threat detection against a database of known threats, as well as receive real-time validation checks. That company database could sit in Amazon Redshift and use the Amazon Rekognition Video service to perform the analysis, while using the Amazon Simple Notification Service to provide instant feedback to the corporate security team on a pay-per-use, consumption-based model.
- If an organization needs to roll out a new platform to spin up a customer service function, they can simply deploy Amazon Connect as a service center platform that includes call direct inward dialing (DID) or toll free numbers, skills-based routing and other functions that can be implemented by a business user in a matter of minutes. This also includes integrations to cloud-native database, web and other services with a few clicks of the mouse.
- If an individual wants to start a media company, platforms such as AWS and Azure can provide media transcoding and transformation services with one click. The user would be responsible only for supplying the data and storing the output for deployment to their platforms of choice.
Such powerful business services are just scratching the surface of the capabilities that can be deployed. We know that when AWS launches over 1400 services and updates in a single year, innovation is just beginning. AWS and Azure continue to lead with these new services, but understanding all the providers’ capabilities and services will only help to accelerate innovation within your organization.