Enterprises around the world are embracing the cloud to rapidly deliver innovation to better engage with their customers and differentiate from the competition. Cloud-based application platforms, often referred to as Platform as a Service (PaaS), uniquely enable companies to accelerate their digital transformation by improving developer and IT productivity and agility. While today much of the focus in cloud technology centers around Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), it is the application platform services that can ultimately unlock greater innovation. Leading organizations are starting to recognize this -- in the recent Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide, IDC estimated that PaaS will grow at a faster rate than Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) with a five-year CAGRs of 30.6%. IDC states that “PaaS is important because it's the focus at many companies for rapid application development and mobile app development, using the DevOps approach.” And, this growth also aligns with what we’re seeing in our customers. Azure App Service, one of our most popular Azure services that supports building enterprise web and mobile apps for any platform or device, hosts over 1 million apps and the number of Azure App Service customers has more than doubled over the last year. Today over 50% of Azure customers use both IaaS and PaaS and this number continues to grow.
Given the customer demand and application platform services value, we’re excited that Gartner recognized Microsoft Azure as a leader in their Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Application Platform as a Service for the third year in a row based on completeness of our vision and ability to execute. (see Figure 1 below) Azure application platform services are designed to support the full spectrum of needs for app development, from professional developers building the next line of business application to business analysts who need a solution for an employee-facing mobile app. We recognize that different apps need different app models; it’s not a one size fits all approach. Azure App Service makes it easy to quickly build enterprise web and mobile apps while Azure Service Fabric provides a microservice based architecture for creating born in the cloud, always-on, massively scalable applications. And new offerings like Microsoft PowerApps offers a business analyst solution enabling companies to keep pace with the growing demand for employee apps. Azure also provides a broad range of PaaS capabilities that support application development such as database management systems (DBMS), data analytics, IoT services, batch processing and more.
While we are proud of our continued leadership in cloud technology, we have long maintained that customers need choice and flexibility. Microsoft is the only vendor recognized by Gartner as a leader across six Magic Quadrants for enterprise cloud workloads: Enterprise Application Platform as a Service, Operational Database Management Systems, Data Warehouse and Data Management Solutions for Analytics, Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Cloud Storage Services and Server Virtualization. We know that organizations have unique needs and we are committed to meeting the needs of all of our customers. Our strategy is to provide a full spectrum offering that enables the power of choice as we deliver industry-leading platform and data services, infrastructure services and hybrid solutions that provide consistency in development and IT experience across on premises technology including Windows Server, SQL Server and Azure Stack - to the public cloud with Azure.
Our Customers’ Stories
The true power of Azure is enabling our customers and partners to realize their business goals – whether it’s reducing costs, speeding time to market, building differentiated solutions or all of the above. Here are great stories from some of our customers who using Azure to build applications:
- Alaska Airlines quickly created mobile experiences for existing company apps to improve employee productivity and satisfaction.
- Jet.com needed to innovate rapidly to build an e-commerce platform to disrupt the retail industry. The company was able to release in 12 months instead of two years by focusing on building differentiated capabilities and not the underlying infrastructure.
- CareOtter designed a born in the cloud solution to eliminate silos of data to ensure patients receive the best healthcare possible.
We’re excited that Gartner continues to recognize the completeness of our vision and ability to execute for Enterprise Application Platform as a Service, and look forward to delivering more on this vision to our customers and partners. If you’d like to read the full report, “Gartner: Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Application Platform as a Service,” you can request it here.
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.