Technology & Entrepreneurship

Suresh Sambandam

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What Does PaaS, a Horse, Car and Plane Have in Common?

Look for a paradigm change

I readily agreed when Ramasubramaniam VP of Chennai PMI Chapter asked me to speak on ‘Cloud Computing’ – obviously :-) ! But, I realized the twist only later. The topic was ‘Cloud Computing and Project Management – Impact on Global Delivery Model’. :-( !  Hmm.. project management is not one of my favorites but having agreed to speak in the event, I had no choice but to give a hard thought on this topic.

Simply put the way I have internalized Project Management at the activity level is the PDCA model i.e., Plan - Do - Check - Act. But what really matters is the end result that a project manager produces i.e. delivering the project by working on Cost, Quality and Time.

However, the paradox is -  out of those 3 only 2 can be tweaked. So, it is never possible to have faster, better and cheaper. It is almost always only 2 is possible.  Period. This is also commonly called as the ‘Project Triangle‘. Simply put - these 3 don't intersect.

Sounds like a dead end, right? No, there is a way out. Change the paradigm! Sounds confusing... Let me give an example in the ‘Transportation' industry. 100 years ago horses were used to travel.  Then came automobiles - cars. Horse and Car are 2 different paradigms in transport. The cost, quality and time of traveling in HORSE paradigm can be beaten in the CAR paradigm. And, surely cost, quality and time of traveling in CAR paradigm can be beaten in the PLANE paradigm.  Let me give only one data point. It's approximately 20,000 miles from India to USA and it costs $1,000 to travel one way costing only 5 cents per mile. In India the cost of travelling a mile in CAR is 25 cents i.e. 5 times expensive than air travel. And, we know for sure the quality experience and time factors are far better in PLANE esp. if you have to travel from India to USA.

Back to Software Development and Project Management. Mainframe Apps, Client-Server Apps, 3 Tier Apps are different paradigms in our world similar to horses, cars and planes. The cost, quality and time play outs in those paradigm are apparent. How do Project Manager's get the same effect of 5 cents / mile? Is there a new paradigm that can help them? Luckily there is an answer. Project Managers have to switch to the ‘Application Platform-as-a-Serivce (APaaS)‘  paradigm. Gartner coined the term APaaS. Garnter Analysts Eric Knipp and Yefim Natis go on to say that APaaS is the killer app for the cloud. Hence, unless project manager's adopt this new /next paradigm they can't achieve radical break through with Cost, Quality and Time  for developing business applications.

It's pure coincidence that Ashish Bhagwat, developed these 2 slides a month ago which came to my mind and I thought it is perfectly relevant to post this here.

Hmm… I see what you are thinking – No I didn’t use any slides when I spoke in the PMI Event:-) .

More Stories By Suresh Sambandam

After an initial entrepreneurial stint for three years at the age of 19, Suresh Sambandam went on to work at Hewlett-Packard. Later, Suresh joined Selectica and rose to senior position, as Director of e-Insurance product division in a short-span. The e-Insurance division and its products were later acquired by Accenture. Suresh is a technocrat specializing in product engineering with expertise in software architecture for complex enterprise applications, inference engines, configuration engines, rule-based computing and enterprise middleware. He has applied for multiple patents. Suresh is passionate about entrepreneurship, technology startups and spends a significant amount of personal time in the start-up ecosystem in Chennai. Suresh is a member of the National Council for Emerging Companies Forum and also a core committee member of Product Forum at NASSCOM. He also does mentoring for budding entrepreneurs at IIT Bombay, E-Cell. Suresh is a regular speaker at various industry forums & academic institutions.

Suresh is the Founder & CEO of OrangeScape. OrangeScape is a platform (PaaS - Platform as a Service) to develop process oriented business applications that can be deployed "On Cloud" and "On Premise". OrangeScape supports platforms like Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure as cloud deployment option and Microsoft .Net and J2EE as on-premise deployment options. OrangeScape has 50+ customers including global brands like Unilever, Citibank, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Fullterton, etc. OrangeScape in the only Indian company has been featured in the PaaS research reports of Forrester and Gartner. OrangeScape has been featured as 'India's Rising Tech Stars' by Forbes(US) magazine. OrangeScape was showcased as one of the 3 emerging product companies in India by Nasscom and was also awarded 'Top IT Innovations' for 2 consecutive years.