Gearman provides a generic application framework to farm out work to other machines or processes that are better suited to do the work.
More specifically, we had esp. the site extension (e.g. asynchronous content publishing) , pingback (web pings can be time consuming), publish/subscribe (same here) data testing (e.g. our own Databugger) and other use-cases in mind.
The asynchronous jobs feature is now merged to the develop branch and will be published with the next regular release (both Erfurt and OntoWiki). To use it now, Christian from eccenca created a nice documentation document for extension developers.