Why ISVs need IaaS to get ahead

IaaS is used most often for testing and development.

Over the past few years, independent software vendors have realised more and more that they need to look to the cloud to get a competitive edge and, to use standardised terms, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) has emerged as one of the top choices.

When it comes to building software, IaaS offers the basic tools that developers need to create new products. Indeed, a 2013 report from Right Scale pointed out that regardless of firms' experience with the cloud, testing and development was the most popular use of IaaS.

Part of the reason why ISVs turn to IaaS for testing and development is because it is easy to use, as a recent whitepaper from Dot Net Solutions summed up: "It delivers the most fundamental building blocks of an IT environment - compute, storage and networking. It's for just this reason that IaaS is a great way to experiment with cloud services; because it's so simple to create and use ring-fenced environments within a larger infrastructure."

For many developers, particularly in high growth businesses, IaaS is much more flexible than traditional in-house processes. Using services like Microsoft's Azure, software developers can gain as much storage and compute space as they need, scaling it up when they feel it is necessary.

On the other hand, if they do not need as much, they can simply cut back on what they use - this is a good way of cutting costs as Microsoft says it will not charge companies for what they do not use.

It makes sense for companies to turn to IaaS, however, it is also worth ISVs shopping around for what they want from a service. Many cloud service providers are now offering more than the standard definition IaaS services, making them more cross-functional with SaaS or PaaS for example. This is why Gartner recently coined the term cloud-enabled systems infrastructure (CESI), which incorporates a greater range of infrastructure related services.

Yet this is in no way a bad thing, rather it shows that it is getting easier for developers to acquire a solution that better suits their needs.