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GlobalData Names PaaS Leaders: AWS, IBM, Microsoft, and Red Hat for Platforms that Adapt to New DevOps Concerns

February 2023 by Marc Jacob

The platform-as-a-service (PaaS) market segment continues to evolve to modernize new and existing apps by leveraging integration/API, intelligent automation, observability/FinOps, and AI/ML, including generative AI chatbots ChatGPT eventually. In its assessment of this marketplace, GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, says that AWS, IBM, Microsoft, and Red Hat are best positioned to succeed in today’s cloud era.

Charlotte Dunlap, Research Director at GlobalData, comments: "Leading PaaS offerings have shifted toward addressing newer DevOps initiatives through tools supporting GitOps and CI/CD pipelines along with advanced AI-injected services to speed app development/deployment and other operational efficiencies."

AWS, IBM, Microsoft, and Red Hat are readying platforms with microservices and serverless architectures that include enhanced operational support through low-code enabled intelligent automation platforms and infrastructure-as-code tools, inviting both developers and IT teams to the app modernization process.

Dunlap adds: "Platforms support operational automation via cluster management solutions to facilitate the Kubernetes lifecycle management across various distributed scenarios, including edge, hybrid, and multi-cloud ecosystems. ChatGPT is already having an immediate impact among developers, especially newer coders, by eliminating baseline coding and speeding the digitization process."

PaaS leaders and other key players in this report, including VMware, Oracle, Salesforce, Google, and SAP, are also investing heavily in ecosystem partnerships to provide customers with broader access to advanced platform services.

Dunlap continues: "In our assessment of this marketplace, we awarded the highest honors to those vendors best able to react to this market transition through thought leadership and innovation, namely Microsoft Azure, Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, and AWS. The leaders in this space have demonstrated solid strategies around application and platforms lifecycle management (APLM) solutions, leadership in promoting advanced technologies through OSS, and AI-injected services to support intelligent applications such as ML; natural language processing; and AI-powered, low-code automation solutions.

"Application platform vendors are challenged to take on public cloud leaders Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. As such, they have made a concerted effort to build out ecosystems with those providers while continuing to differentiate through a comprehensive cloud stack which, alongside mature integration, API management, and analytics portfolios, includes infrastructure management capabilities (e.g., APLM) to ease app deployment."

Low-code technology advancements coupled with a global IT skills shortage, which hinders the ability to accelerate app modernization among enterprises, help illustrate the growing importance for enterprises to involve a broader base of users in the app development and DevOps process. Salesforce (Flow) and Microsoft (Power Automate) have traditionally excelled in these low-code and automation platforms. More recently, AWS has entered this space by embedding low-code functionality into AWS Amplify Studio visual development environment. This trend addresses head-on the need for AI-injected low-code solutions to facilitate broader participation by coders and non-coders in the digital transformation efforts under a DevOps model.’’

Dunlap concludes: "Such technology advancements will result in a newfound prioritization of DevOps methodologies among enterprises based on a new wave of developer technologies, which significantly remove obstructions hindering deployment of modern apps."

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