Business processes are moving to the web. ( salesforce, CRM etc). There is now a trend of using the cloud for storage and applications ( Amazon, Google Apps etc) . Open source and web based applications are taking on many functions of the desktop. Businesses should start exploring these areas and tools to get the total cost of owner ship down for hardware and software.
We are also seeing the start of computers with minimal hardware but connectivity to the web ( netbook computers ) being used for most tasks . As mail, messenger and internet form majority of normal usage of the computer this may become a trend.
– Google docs will allow businesses to use excel, word and powerpoint type applications for free. Gears from Google will allow you to view ( excel and powerpoint) and view and edit ( doc files ) offline
Cloud computing is one of the emerging technology for virtualaization of your business for growth at very less cost. It has three major ctagories- SaaS( Software as a service which is CRM, Salesforce ), PaaS(Platform as a Service which is Microsoft Azure & Google App Engine)and the latest one is IaaS(Infrastucture as a Service). Its like computer infrastructure accessible via the web and includes SaaS and PaaS services. Amazon web services, force.com & Racspace cloud are providing this service.