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    Cloud-based PaaS Becoming Latest IT Tred

    When it comes to cloud computing, the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) sectors include the most established technologies. However, it appears Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) software could be the next major player to emerge, according to a recent study by Gartner.

    "The fundamental appeal of PaaS is the opportunity for ISVs (independent software vendors) and IT organizations to create new software solutions with minimal capital expense and without the hassle of provisioning and configuring the underlying infrastructure," said Yefim Natis, distinguished analyst at Gartner.

    The study found that PaaS revenue will reach $1.2 billion worldwide in 2012, before exploding to $2.9 billion in 2016. The sector is being driven by the application PaaS market, which accounts for 34.4 percent of all PaaS spending. Application lifecycle management services, BPM platform services and cloud integration services make up 12 percent, 11.6 percent and 11.4 percent of PaaS spending, respectively.

    IT departments in mature markets like the U.S., Western Europe and the Asia-Pacific region account for 90 percent of all worldwide PaaS spending, with the U.S. alone making up 42 percent of PaaS investment.

    Benefits of PaaS
    PaaS offers a variety of benefits to companies. As Natis pointed out, it provides "state of the art" IT infrastructure support to small and medium-sized businesses, many of which otherwise would not be able to afford the technology.

    "Everyone selling IaaS is selling to the same buyer, but providers selling PaaS [are] selling to the buyer of their platform," Tom Nolle, president of CIMI, recently told TechTarget.

    According to a recent report by TechTarget, PaaS is beneficial because, like IaaS, it allows companies to use SaaS applications. However, the software runs through application programing interfaces, making it easier for IT departments to operate.