IT in a small business
Currently, I work for a small company that has embarked on a new line. We assist small companies with their IT needs. One of the biggest problems to date is upgrading all of the hardware and software in order to take advantage of the new technologies and yet recover the costs of your initil investment.
The situation I see the most often is that a company will start small and buy software thyat supports thier current needs with no growth capabilities. When the company starts to go the hardware and software become inefficent as the abilities are maxed out, so you buy addons and patches to make it work. It gets to a point where you have to scrap everything, move all of your data to the new system and move on with your growth, this is a very expensive investment in both time and purchases.
What this leaves is a small company making do with what they have until they can cough up the funds to update their systems. Microsoft has started to cater to the small business group which gives the smaller businesses a hand up when used properly. The advent of on line services should help along these lines as the overall operating costs will be minimized, you can run a complete office from the internet, Worksmart as an example. As the technology improves, my hope is that we will maintain a link to our past, so that we can all take advantage of the newer technologies without having to build a new office every time we improve the way we maintain business.