Can APaaS Platforms Replace Traditional Enterprise Applications?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to whether Application Platform as a Service (APaaS) can replace conventional enterprise application suites. Just as some businesses prefer Traditional Enterprise Applications, others might opt for fully customized systems based on their specific IT capabilities and governance requirements.

As a relatively new category in enterprise software, APaaS is constantly evolving and improving. Its capability to replace standardized applications strengthens over time.

Initially, APaaS is particularly well-suited for creating standalone departmental applications. These applications, which address single problems without needing integration with other systems and are used by relatively small user groups, can be built quite conveniently using zero-code/low-code approaches. For instance, applications for equipment inspections in manufacturing, order summaries in a business department, or project management tailored to specific departmental needs are typical examples.

The next level involves extending existing systems. For instance, a manufacturing ERP might need to extend to work orders and waybills, or a CRM system might need to capture sales leads from marketing activities. Extending around a single application isn’t overly complex as long as data integration challenges are addressed. Even if data integration is difficult due to a lack of APIs in existing products, regular data imports and exports can often solve this issue. Our colleagues in the US, for example, often cite SAP Extensions as a prime use case.

At a deeper third level, integration becomes intensive, aiming to facilitate data flow between different systems. A business might have both a Marketing Automation System (MAS) and a Sales Force Automation (SFA) system that are disjointed. A fully capable APaaS can build data bridges between these systems and maintain data for cross-boundary business analytics.Reaching this level typically means that a business already has several established systems, and a complete overhaul isn’t practical. Therefore, alongside using APaaS, solving data integration issues is crucial. Solutions range from file exchange to more modern approaches like standardized RESTful APIs, which are common in most contemporary SaaS products.

At the fourth level, APaaS is used to custom-build complete applications that are central to a business’s core operations, such as CRM, ERP, or Project Management Systems (PMS). Which system is more central depends entirely on the industry and operational model of the business.

The highest level of APaaS utilization involves using its flexibility to build comprehensive digital systems encompassing marketing, sales, operations, service, and management accounting. If the implementer has a sound data model, constructing a comprehensive in-house solution with APaaS is within reach. The advantages include speed, cost-efficiency, and, importantly, the elimination of data silos often created by disparate applications. However, building a complex business-wide system is not trivial and requires substantial architectural expertise.

The diagram below outlines the relationship between application platforms and products, along with the five levels of application depth described above.

In conclusion, while APaaS has the potential to replace some application products, it’s neither capable nor necessary to replace all applications. This includes:

  1. Highly specialized systems that aren’t typical relational database applications, such as hotel PMS with complex dynamic pricing calculations or restaurant POS systems requiring refined hardware integration.
  2. Highly standardized applications for which the market already provides ample and adequate solutions. Sometimes, purchasing an application might even be less costly than building and maintaining one on APaaS.
  3. Advanced system-level application products that already offer high granularity customization capabilities, like Microsoft Dynamics, Odoo, Oracle APEX, or Salesforce Lightning. APaaS’s capabilities align with the customization features of these products, but application platforms take customization to the extreme.

About Nocoly

Nocoly is founded by a group of  enterprise software industry veterans, who believe many of the industry’s problems need to be addressed by different ways.

  • DevOps is getting extremely expensive for both ISVs and end customers.
  • Enterprise suite apps are too complicated to implement in many occasions.
  • The people who has the business know how and the people who can develop apps are always departed.

Nocoly’s flagship product, Hyper Application Platform (HAP) is a response for all above challenges. It starts from a No Code application building approach, and expand its capability by adding Hyper Automation and Integration features. This versatility makes HAP a handy tool when solve variety of digital management problems. 

With Cloud Native architecture, HAP is so easy to be installed on customer’s own cloud. On Premise is not expensive any more. You can even get a buy-out pricing option to dramatically reduce your IT spending and subscription burden.

Also, our production innovation optimizes business model. VAR partners can participate into HAP’s ecosystem to build their own vertical solutions and achieve much higher return on investment. 

There are still many heavy and expensive stuff in enterprise digitization domain, such as big data, internet of things, analytics and AIGC implementation. Nocoly’s mission is to make more of them noco-ly. 

Our product is already in many clouds worldwide. Getting HAP up and running is easy and quick.  Jump to our SaaS signup or install on your own server can be minutes away. Begin your HAP story today.