As technology evolves we are finding that the methods for application delivery are also evolving. While there are a number of varying technologies such as application streaming and terminal services, the most exciting is the movement of applications into the cloud. Moving applications and services to the cloud allows them to be consumed via a browser which completely changes the landscape in terms of end-user platform requirements, licensing management and so much more.
There are a number of significant market forces driving the move to the cloud.
The first factor is the growing number of web applications entering the market each day. Eight out of ten enterprise applications purchased or developed by organizations are based on web technologies. The reason is simple, web applications are centralized, scalable, and have little or no client-side dependencies.
The second market factor is what we call "decoupling". When the desktop is decoupled from the operating system it gains the freedom to move from device to device. This factor is significant due to the fact there are many new products entering the sub-notebook market such as netbooks, thin clients, and smartphones. With the desktop decoupled, users are fee to access their desktop from a wide variety of devices.
Last, but not least, is a significant shift away from a client-centric computing model. While many organizations work well in the traditional application delivery model, some organizations are looking for creative ways to store and deliver applications from a centralized location.
Over the past couple of years, Identity Automation has been working with products such as Stoneware's webNetwork which allows organizations to build their own private cloud where users can access their web, Windows, and hosted applications from anywhere using any device whether they are at home, on the road, or inside the office.
These changes are exciting to see and are undoubtedly the foundations of what will be a lasting paradigm shift for application and desktop delivery into the future.