Editor’s Note: The 2016 aPaaS Magic Quadrant is now out. Check out our coverage here.
Late last month, Gartner released the latest iteration of its Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS).
In the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise aPaaS, Gartner evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of what it considers leading vendors in the enterprise aPaaS market, and provides readers with a graph (the ‘Magic Quadrant’) plotting the vendors based on their ability to execute, and completeness of vision. The graph is divided into four quadrants: niche players, challengers, visionaries, and leaders. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its research publications.
This is the second time Gartner has released a Magic Quadrant (MQ) for aPaaS since they introduced aPaaS as a category in 2014, and there have been some changes in vendor positions, as well as the addition of new players, and the removal of some others.
We read the 32-page report and pulled a few of what we consider the most important takeaways and key changes from last year’s aPaaS Magic Quadrant:
What is aPaaS?
Gartner defines application platform as a service (aPaaS) as:
“A form of platform as a service (PaaS) that provides a platform to support application development, deployment and execution in the cloud. It is a suite of cloud services designed to meet the prevailing application design requirements of the time.”
As of 2015, those requirements include mobile cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT), and big data analytics innovations, says Gartner.
An Enterprise aPaaS is an aPaaS specifically designed to “support the enterprise style of applications and applications projects (high availability, disaster recovery, security and technical support).”
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How has the market changed?
There have been relatively few major shifts in the aPaaS MQ since last year. As the smallest of the three major cloud markets (IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS) aPaaS has not received as much attention as other cloud services and the market has not faced any major upheavals.
Though Gartner notes that the market is “relatively unsettled,” they also point out that this unsettled state can attract many new vendors. Some major IT vendors (such as Oracle and HP) have yet to enter the aPaaS market, and their doing so would undoubtedly cause a market stir-up.
Gartner notes that, while they identify current leaders in the market, the “long-term, sustained leadership in the market remains open to new players.” The report advises users to be prepared for change and even potential discontinuities in the market.
Gartner also lists several “key trends’ in the market. Here are a few that we found most pertinent:
“aPaaS offerings begin to challenge traditional platform middleware for mainstream projects, and not only for experimental, cloud-centric initiatives.”
“Hybrid aPaaS emerges as the strategic platform for large organizations seeking to preserve their investment while embracing innovation; while medium and some small enterprises strategically focus on public aPaaS to gain the benefit of scale and excellent available in the public cloud that is unattainable with their limited resources.”
“Open source has emerged as the new de facto standard — Linux, OpenStack, Cloud Foundry, Docker, Kubemetes, polyglot 3GL frameworks (Rails, Tomcat, etc.), MySQL, Hadoop, etc. All are seen by users as ensuring portability and reducing vendor lock-in.”
Movements on the Chart
Though the market as a whole has been steady, there have been significant gains and losses in placement for individual vendors on the Magic Quadrant since last year. Here are the major movements for vendors on both the 2014 and 2015 aPaaS Magic Quadrants:
NTT Communications loses points on both axes. Japanese telecom giant NTT Communications lost ground on both ability to execute, and completeness of vision. Though Gartner recognizes NTT as a “proven global sourcing carrier service provider and cloud service provider,” NTT lost points for slow response to the evolution of aPaaS-enabling technology and for a lack of focus on application development.
Engine Yard remains a niche player; loses standing. Gartner recognizes Engine Yard as “a pioneer in the PaaS market,” but the Engine Yard platform lost standing due to limited cloud capabilities (particularly in elasticity and sharing), and because the vendor does not provide its own integration or analytic capabilities.
Red Hat still a visionary; gaining ground. Open-source PaaS framework provider Red Hat remains in the visionaries quadrant but has received a nice boost in ability to execute. Gartner likes Red Hat for its flexibility, financial strength, and its expertise in Linux, Java, and security.
Vendors Added and Dropped
The most significant change from one Magic Quadrant to the next is always the addition (and removal) of vendors. Here are the biggest change-ups in this year’s report:
OrangeScape, OutSystems, and Zoho added. Gartner added these three vendors because they were “deemed to offer sufficient cloud and enterprise capabilities,” and they met the requirements of at least $1 million revenue and at least 30 paying customers.
Here are report excerpts for each newcomer:
OrangeScape is a Chennai, India, based company (operating also from Mountain View California). Founded in 2003 as a vendor of on-premises, high-productivity development software. A high productivity aPaaS offering, built over Google’s App Engine was offered in 2008.
OutSystems is a high-productivity enterprise rapid application delivery (RAD) PaaS that focuses on accelerating the time to solution of enterprise apps.
Zoho Creator is a high-productivity, database-centric business aPaaS. It emphasizes a low code development experience that is usable by citizen developers.
AppPoint Software Solutions was dropped because it did not meet the updated, more demanding inclusion criteria, including the minimum revenue and number of paying customer/
CloudBees was dropped because the company exited the aPaaS market and discontinued its RUN@cloud service. CloudBees is now focusing all business resources on its DEV@cloud application development lifecycle management (ADLM) PaaS.
Docker was dropped because the company exited the aPaaS market. Docker sold its aPaaS business to cloudControl and is now focusing entirely on its Docker container technology.
CenturyLink-Tier 3 has been dropped because CenturyLink retired its WebFabric aPaaS offering and is focusing on its Tier 3 IaaS offering. CenturyLink AppFog did not meet the requirements for number of customers or revenue.
WSO2 was dropped because the company retreated from the aPaaS market to redesign its offering to be more functionally complete and competitive. WSO2’s new App Cloud did not meet the revenue and number of paying customers.
Salesforce and Microsoft Remain Leaders
As in last year’s report, Salesforce and Microsoft are the only vendors ranked in the leaders quadrant. Salesforce still has a slight lead, but Microsoft has gained ground since last year.
Gartner defines a market leaders as vendors who “combine an insightful understanding of the realities of the market, a reliable record, the ability to influence the market’s direction, the capability to attract and keep a following, and the capacity to lead.”
Though Gartner identifies market leaders, they are careful to point out that large market leaders are not always the right choice for a business. “A focused, smaller vendor can provide excellent support and commitment to individual customers,” according to the report.
You can download the report in full from Salesforce here.
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