What Is Platform as a Service (PaaS), And Could It Help Your Business?
Many businesses are not interested in managing their own servers or the underlying operating systems on their servers.
Historically, a business hired a local technology vendor to come to their office and manage all of their hardware—such as servers and desktop computers. Although this is still common today, an increasingly more popular option has emerged.
Today, many more internet-based server management options are available for businesses to consider. And this is thanks to an increase in available internet speeds.
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One such option is Platform as a Service (PaaS).
PaaS is a service where your company’s servers are located and managed outside of your office. Your servers (and software on the servers) is then accessed via the internet.
So, How Do You Access Your Software When Using a PaaS Solution?
You would use something called Remote Desktop to connect you (virtually) to your company’s software. It sounds much more confusing than it actually is. Remote desktop is also referred to as RDP, which stands for Remote Desktop Protocol.
Although the remote computer can be located in a distant place, using remote desktop makes it feel like you are sitting right in front of it. And the fact that you don’t need to be physically sitting in front of the remote computer gives you a lot of flexibility.
With all of this said, PaaS and Remote Desktop do not remove the need for your business to have laptops or desktop computers.
Is A PaaS Solution Right For Your Business?
With such a large number of Platform as a Service solution providers in the marketplace, I personally have a hard time suggesting that you keep (and manage) servers in your office. This is especially true for small businesses who likely don’t have the in-house expertise to manage your servers.
One clear exception to this is for retail businesses. If your internet connection goes out, and your server is accessed via the internet, then you’ll be out of luck.
The cost of a solution is also going to come into play. Because of this, it’ll be important to talk to several vendors to ensure they are a good fit for your business. Here are some questions you should ask each vendor:
- How long have you been in business?
- Where is your data center located?
- What are your service level agreements (SLAs) for servers being available?
- Do you offer 24x7x365 support?
- How many people work at your company?
- Will you manage my software updates?
- Do you have a standard data center maintenance schedule when I won’t be able to access my servers?
There are many more questions you’ll want to ask, but this list should get you started.
Have any questions? Hit me up on Twitter (@TeamPixelayn) or you can shoot me an email (
Ryan has been heavily involved in the world of Information Technology and entrepreneurship since the early 2000s. From small business consulting to Fortune 500 IT leadership, Ryan has a wide array of industry knowledge. He earned his BBA from the University of Iowa in 2004 majoring in Management Information Systems and later earned his MBA from the University of Iowa in 2009 with a focus on Management and Marketing. When he's not spending time with his wife and three young children, you'll find Ryan pounding away at his keyboard, spinning on his Peloton, or listening to a good audiobook or podcast.