Optimized application performance is a top priority among a majority of enterprise customers, but achieving the lofty goal with distributed offices, complex application environments and too many products from which to choose becomes considerably more challenging.A recent report from The Yankee Group explores another option - one that may represent faster deployment and less investment in new technology. In the report, "Managed Application Delivery Services Reduce the Cost and Complexity of Application Acceleration," George Hamilton, director of enterprise computing and networking at The Yankee Group, explores the reasons why a managed service may be the way to go for many customers considering application acceleration technologies today."One option for enterprises that need application acceleration without the risk is to partner with a managed service provider," Hamilton says. By using a managed service, enterprises can address the drawbacks of the [do-it-yourself] approach."Among the challenges that could be eased with a managed service, Hamilton says, are management and deployment burdens. Not only can IT managers avoid making a capital investment and committing budget dollars to hardware costs, but they can also enjoy fewer administration tasks without an extra appliance or two to manage in their infrastructure."This frees IT resources to focus on other critical areas and reduces staff training needs," Hamilton writes in the report.Companies such as Netli, which Hamilton cites as a vendor example, package their acceleration technologies as a service and provide customers with easy to deploy and maintain optimization services. And Hamilton says the company can expect to see competition from larger vendors, such as Cisco and Juniper."Cisco and Juniper will also offer professional services or managed offerings for application acceleration. It's part of their strategy for adding intelligence into the network and delivering more value-added services," Hamilton writes.