Business IT: Rent or Buy? - Page 6

What the Future Holds

With companies increasingly seeking to maximize their IT return on investment and focus on core competencies, a continued migration to IT and application outsourcing seems almost certain. Were sure to see new types of applications being offered in hosted environments, as well as new challenges—and new innovations—in areas such as metering and billing, interoperability, and management.

Salesforce.coms Benioff likes to forecast the end of software as we know it—a day thats still far off, if it arrives at all. Its easy to see typical database-driven, client-server-style business applications moving to an on-demand model, but its harder to imagine something like content creation following the same path: Can you imagine Adobe Photoshop as a Web app?

History shows us that the incredible proliferation of the PC did not spell the end of mainframe software, although the PC unequivocally stole the spotlight. Still, for many types of business software, the on-demand model is sure to grow in appeal. And even today, it offers advantages that make it well worth your consideration.

Our contributors: John Clyman is a consultant and contributing editor of PC Magazine. Cade Metz is a senior writer, and Molly K. McLaughlin is an intern. PC Magazine Labs lead analyst Sahil Gambhir and associate editor Michael J. Steinhart were in charge of this story.