When it comes to accelerating the development of applications, having a standard set of runtimes can make all the difference. A new study of 753 IT professionals conducted by ClearPath Strategies on behalf of the Cloud Foundry Foundation (CFF) finds a marked decrease in the time it takes organizations using the Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment to develop code—just 18 percent need three months or longer, compared with 51 percent of respondents that don’t use the Cloud Foundry Application Runtime. And, according to the study, the 46 percent of responding companies that use the Cloud Foundry Application Runtime see application development times of less than a week, compared with only 16 percent of non-users.
Abby Kearns, executive director for CFF, says use of Cloud Foundry Application Runtime has expanded considerably in the last year. Nearly half (45 percent) of the respondent have been using the PaaS environment in the last year. The survey also finds that more than half (51 percent) now have more than 10 developers employing Cloud Foundry Application Runtime, while 28 percent now have more than 50 developers.
Kearns says those results are noteworthy because it shows that CF is now being used for a lot more than simple proof-of-concept projects. In fact, Kearns notes use of CF to develop a broader range of cloud-native application is increasing. The study finds half of Cloud Foundry users currently use containers, with another 35 percent evaluating or deploying containers.
Kearns says there’s a high correlation between implementations of CF and adoption of DevOps processes. He notes that often organizations decide to implement CF to force the DevOps issue—a PaaS environment the size and scale of CF requires every process and function within an IT environment to participate in what has become a large-scale continuous application/continuous integration (CI/CD) platform operating at scale. Confronted with that requirement, Kearns says it’s not too long before the IT culture adjusts to that new reality by implementing a new organizational structure.
CF is not the only PaaS game in town. But via CF distributions from Pivotal, IBM, SAP and others, use of CF has steadily grown, especially among larger enterprises that have the skills required to implement CF at scale. The survey finds that enterprise IT organizations with more than $1 billion in revenue account about half (49 percent) of all CF users. As deployments of the various elements of a PaaS environment becomes more automated, adoption of CF in small-to-medium enterprises should increase.
In the meantime, IT organizations need think through the amount of time and money developers are wasting using alternative approaches. Not every IT organization appreciates the opinionated workflows that are baked into a PaaS environment. But given the length of time it takes to build applications using other platforms—as well the total cost of maintaining those environments—building and deploying applications at a higher level of PaaS abstraction is difficult to ignore. In fact, managing IT at a higher level of abstraction may eventually prove to be the difference between thriving and merely surviving.