AppSecute, the New Zealand based startup focussing on the PaaS space (disclosure: Fellow CloudAve blogger and friend Ben Kepes is an investor in the company but I have no relationship with them), recently launched in public beta with a changed messaging. AppSecute started out talking about federated PaaS which, even though was an interesting idea, was not solving any industry pain point. Though federation at the infrastructure is a critical element, federation at the platform layer could lead to the same silo-ed problems of the past. Their earlier messaging lead people (including me) confused. I think AppSecute is trying to address this problem with the shift in messaging. They are now attacking an important problem which organizations are going to encounter in the future. They are trying to address the issue of “rogue IT” where a dev or a team use an IT unauthorized PaaS vendor which they are comfortable or familiar with. With the barrier to entry lowered with cloud services, the “rogue IT” problem is going to be a big issue and, if left unchecked, could run out of control.
According to the announcement AppSecute will offer application deployment, configuration, scaling and monitoring, providing a single pane of glass to manage applications running in different platform services. They are targeting individual developers with a low end plan, followed by plans suitable for startups and enterprises. The enterprise plan offers auditing features that are critical for organizations as they try to control “rogue IT”.
AppSecute is an early stage startup and they have a long way to go. I would see the following as problems in their path and would expect them to address in the coming months (years). Even though they are the only PaaS focussed company offering application management and governance, there are many other vendors in the space doing it across all layers of the cloud stack. I would even expect a company like enStratus to solve this problem going forward. In fact, when they hired fellow #clouderati James Urquhart, this is exactly what I expected them to do. People who had followed James’ writing will understand what his strategy might be for enStratus. Similarly, there are many others who are just moments away from handling the application management and governance problem at the platform level. I would even say that some of the PaaS vendors might offer a way to control “rogue IT” from within their dashboards. Even though this is a good start, I would expect them to go beyond this and address some of the critical pain points specific to PaaS. I had a chat with AppSecute founder at VMworld 2012 and he is a smart man. They have a pretty good team with some good advisors and investors. I am sure they will push themselves ahead of the pack next year.