The new positions of application delivery architects and engineers should be an IT organisation's next key appointments, says analyst Gartner.
As more organisations begin to deploy application delivery networks (ADNs) to mitigate limitations in business-critical applications, Gartner says the emergence of ADNs creates a need for a new group of technical professionals.
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ADNs are required for the successful deployment of modern browser-based applications and emerging web services applications.
Organisations should recognise that designing and managing this new network overlay requires unique skills and build a team of application delivery architects and engineers, the analyst says.
These new roles will be key to the deployment of very expensive applications and protocols.
"In many IT departments, application delivery professionals will be the first new positions for several years, and their emerging status as highly sought-after individuals will generate friction with the 'old guard'," said Joe Skorupa, a Gartner analyst.
"Nevertheless, IT departments that add these positions will see smoother application development and deployment, increased user satisfaction and lower costs," he said.
Application delivery architects work with application development, storage, security and network architects to develop an overall approach to the delivery of each application.
This team determines which optimisation techniques (protocol offload, caching, application firewalls, and so on) are required and where they should be implemented.
An application delivery engineer leads the operational effort. Because ADN knowledge is in short supply, Gartner says most companies will have to develop staff in-house.