Application Delivery is the means by which organisations deliver functionality to their employees and customers. The ability to offer the best possible experience leads to direct benefits in terms of productivity and organisational image.
Application delivery has changed as IT systems have matured. From its early mainframe and min-computer based roots; it has been through several phases of evolution.
From the original server-based computing, we saw a move towards client PC based functionality (thick client) as applications were deployed to individual PCs. As networks become commonplace, so too did the deployment of servers in roles such as fileservers, database servers and mail servers.
The arrival of the Internet saw a new way of delivering functionality via web applications and business to business communications. The current level of broadband internet connectivity means that this is by far the most commonplace way of accessing functionality in use today.
Finally, we are now seeing a return to the original server-based computing architecture of the early days of computing. Organisations are now seeing the benefits of centralising their applications and data, and using local and wide area networks, and the Internet to deliver this functionality to the users and customers.