Platform as a service (PaaS) offerings will be introduced across different software companies and industries this year.
PaaS is the middle layer of the software stack for cloud services and is the predominant technology in the way that it intermediates between the underlying system infrastructure such as operating systems and networks, and overlaying application software.
As the years have gone on, this technology has become instrumental in application development tools, database management systems and business process management.
According to Gartner, enterprise software vendors, as well as large cloud specialists will introduce PaaS offerings to deliver new or strongly expanded features. It predicts that by the end of this year the battle for leadership in PaaS and the "key PaaS segments will engulf the software industry."
New vendors are expected to walk into the market through acquisitions or in-house development, which according to Gartner means that users can expect a "wave of innovation and hype" and the industry will see a boost in competition.
Gartner predicts that most midsize and large organisations will shun wholesale transitions to cloud computing and instead go for an extension of the use patterns of on-premises application infrastructures to hybrid computing models.
This essentially means "on-premises application infrastructures and PaaS will coexist, interoperate and integrate".
PaaS will be allowed to grow in the cloud industry because the cloud computing era is just beginning. At the moment the prevailing patterns, standards and best practices of cloud software engineering have not yet been established, which means there is an opportunity for new software providers to build a presence in the market.
However, those who already have service offerings in place won't be able to rest on their laurels, as they will have to work to remain at the top of this market and beat off new competition.
Gartner predicts that to achieve the latter large vendors will aim to grow through in-house development, partnerships and acquisitions. Smaller vendors on the other hand will grow through partnerships, while users will be driven into cloud computing as business application services and advanced platform services mature and grow technologically.
Gartner predicts that by 2015, most enterprises will have part of their run-the-business software services in the cloud, using PaaS services or technologies directly or indirectly. Most of these will also have a hybrid environment in which internal and external services are combined.