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Back in 1951 when the sci-fi classic, The Thing, hit the big screen, its hokey but terrifying narrative about a hostile alien put audiences on the edges of their seats and probably made for more than a few sleepless nights. Now, a new “thing” or “things,” to be precise, is garnering attention and is or should be causing some folks to have sleepless nights.
This year's Consumer Electronics Show has been dominated by talk of the Internet of Things (IoT) – a concept that IT folks have been contemplating for some time but which seems to have mainstream media thoroughly baffled. Of course, while IT people may not be baffled by the terminology, the truth is too few organizations or individuals are really ready to digest the changes the IoT portends. Scalability, for one thing, is going to present a whole new challenge. The sky is no longer the limit – data growth is essentially limitless.
Furthermore, when anything and everything begins to rapidly acquire intelligence, data management and network control and design will need to change.
Application development will have to keep up; too, becoming more rapid, agile, and flexible than ever.
Indeed, as devices multiply the idea of building anew for each and every purpose and environment will finally be buried and replaced by Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) options. Why? Although there may still be some developers who find it challenging or interesting to “reinvent the wheel,” businesses will no longer accept this approach and will require more sensible, predictable, and reliable practices. Developing with the help of cloud resources is one inevitable element in this shift.
Once applications are developed (or redeveloped and modernized), the Internet of Things will still demand more from infrastructure than ever before. No one is predicting that owned, physical, on-premise resources are going away entirely. However, it’s abundantly clear that a rapidly growing share of new growth will be drawn to the flexibility (pay for what you use) characteristics of the cloud. That, too, will be a factor in both how applications are designed for deployment and how organizations actually choose to deploy them.
PaaS has the potential to address and solve most of the challenges, providing better development environments, more cost effective access to developer resources, and a smooth transition from development and test to deployment. So, when you think about the amazing, emergent Internet of Things, take a moment to consider how critical the role of PaaS may be for you and your organization. It is a “thing” that can change the development world for the better.
Karen Tegan Padir is the president of the Application Development and Deployment Business Unit at Progress, reporting to President and Chief Executive Officer Phil Pead. Padir, a 20-year software industry veteran, is responsible for the strategy and growth of Progress application development assets including Telerik, Modulus, Rollbase and the Pacific Platform.
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