How MSPs Can Mitigate PaaS Challenges for Optimal Client ROI

As a trusted advisor, you can steer your clients clear of pitfalls around vendor lock-in, security, service level agreements, and costs.

Platform as a Service

Platform as a Service (PaaS) offers users a variety of benefits, including eliminating the need for investments into purchasing, upgrading and maintaining systems, faster deployment, and easier scaling.

But nothing’s perfect.

Here are seven potential Platform as a Service disadvantages and how managed services providers (MSPs) can help clients avoid mistakes that can negate ROI.

1Vendor lock-in

A PaaS offering may seem to have it all. Your client may even move ahead and deploy the solution – only to realize later they are totally dependent on the vendor. For example, one disadvantage of Platform as a Service is that if the vendor doesn’t offer a specific feature, there may be no way to provide it to your client. And if your client decides to switch platforms in the future, the move could mean difficulties or data loss.

2The security question

McAfee points out that cloud security is a shared responsibility between the cloud provider and the customer. The provider is responsible for the OS and infrastructure; the end user is responsible for applications, data and access. As a result, your customers and prospects may forego the benefits PaaS could provide their organizations because they aren’t convinced they can ensure security.

Help your clients follow security best practices and deploy security solutions in addition to those provided by the vendor, if necessary. MSPs can also help their clients ensure they are complying with any cloud computing regulations or standards that govern their industry.

3Service capabilities

You are limited to the vendor’s toolset when you develop an application via Platform as a Service. The vendor typically establishes how your client addresses updates, failover, or database management.

4Insufficient service levels

Depending on the PaaS offering, your client may need to pay more – or be unable to afford – the service levels they need. Thoroughly research the agreement terms between your client and the vendor to provide a clear picture of the reliability, availability, and maintenance terms they can expect.


Businesses access PaaS through a network connection – the speed of that connection and latency are potential Platform as a Service disadvantages that your clients need to consider before committing to a specific solution.

6Cost surprises

Scaling Platform as a Service is easy when more resources or features are required, but costs can mount quickly. Ensure your customer understands how charges will increase when they increase the resources they use. As a trusted advisor, you may suggest managing workflows to keep costs lower.

7Not everything is cloud-ready

Platform as a Service is a superb solution for many use cases but unsuitable for some. Advise your clients on what should be handled on-premises or in a virtual environment, and help them integrate systems for seamless workflows and data sharing.

8Not all PaaS Solutions are the same

Another potential Platform as a Service disadvantage is that offerings can vary widely. Still, because they all fall into the “PaaS” category, your clients may assume they’re all the same. As a result, they’ll need your expertise and guidance to make the best investment in a solution that’s right for their use case, whether they’re focusing on analytics, business processes, commercial applications, mobile apps, or even IoT for blockchain.

Assist businesses with their decision, add value with complementary solutions, and strengthen your relationship with your clients by providing a total PaaS solution that gives them all the advantages while minimizing the possible downside.

Mike Monocello

The former owner of a software development company and having more than a decade of experience writing for B2B IT solution providers, Mike is co-founder of Managed Services Journal (formerly XaaS Journal) and DevPro Journal.