Guest Contributor: Sinclair Schuller, CEO, Apprenda
Financial services firms are typically some of the largest (based on employee count) organizations in the world. These large employee bases create a number of challenges for IT because the needs of each individual line of business in a financial services organization vary so wildly from the others. This variation results in a large number of custom applications being developed to satisfy unique needs. On top of that, M&A activity driving consolidation results in the merging of many custom application portfolios that didn’t stem from the same patterns and practices, let alone any sort of common application code.
Currently, custom application development is customized, meaning a common architecture among the applications does not exist. With the number of custom application portfolios on the rise, custom application development is becoming extremely unmanageable since each application is an exception to the rule; managing applications is not uniform and the fact that each of these applications are so different from another means that little to no economies of scale can be achieved. With this rise in custom applications there is also the problem that these new applications have even more complex architecture requirements than their predecessors, further exacerbating time to market and manageability problems.
There is a solution for addressing these issues with time and management. Cloud computing, and specifically platform as a service (PaaS), provides the simple solution to custom application development with a consistent, uniform underlying architecture. However, in the financial services industry, because of the nature of the business, regulatory environment, security and performance concerns, organizations are highly unlikely to adopt cloud computing in its public form factor across a majority of the application portfolio; private is the only way to go.
Deploying PaaS internally as a self-service computing platform accessible to internal developers solves the issues with manageability and time without compromising security, which cannot be said for public PaaS.
Private PaaS enables organizations to achieve:
• Faster Time to Market: Private PaaS provides for a self service utility model that allows you to upload your compiled code and in a button click, “publish” it. Never configure an application or server again. Deploy apps in minutes rather than weeks or months.
• Increased Agility: Private PaaS simplifies application deployment, management and scaling, while also improving developer productivity through shared services.
• Reduced Costs: Private PaaS allows for greatly improved infrastructure utilization, removes human configuration tasks where appropriate, and provides self-service interfaces.
• Reduced Complexity: Private PaaS simplifies ongoing application management by abstracting applications away from infrastructure and enforcing a common, inheritable architecture.
• Streamlined Application Management: Private PaaS enables you to manage all of your applications from a central place and never worry about being outside the bounds of IT governance.
The benefits private PaaS has to offer cannot be ignored, especially by financial services organizations looking to save time and money. The prospect of leveraging cloud architectures like private PaaS within the enterprise IT infrastructure provides a “best of both worlds” outcome: significant cloud-based improvements in the enterprise IT experience without the adoption hurdles associated with public PaaS.