I am subscribed to the Tech Sanity Check discussion group and I really find the information useful. Today's article was about the five most important trends of 2008. I agree with the 5 Jason Hiner posted. There may be some argument about the order but all 5 are game changing for IT service providers.
5. The rise of ultra-cheap PCs - you can now get a decent laptop for $500 and virtualization is making thin clients more popular which go for under $200.
4. Green IT meets energy savings - it is no longer just a California issue; mainstream is now conscious of saving power. It doesn't come to the top of the list in the SMB space but if you can tout your product as being "green", it does make a slight difference.
3. Offshoring, H1Bs, and the IT labor deficit - with the economic slow down, it is ever more important to hire locally. There has been a shortage of skilled technicians which has caused headaches in our organization.
2. Virtualization and utility computing - the flexibility is making this solution mainstream. Small businesses will move away from server rooms and to a pay as grow hosted model. The move to utility computing is a trend that has become popular in 2008 and I feel we will start seeing it in action in late 2009.
1. IT's opportunity in the economic tsunami - today's IT departments tend to be leaner and more ROI focused than in the early 2000s. The current global recession is forcing small businesses to look toward technology to streamline tasks and to outsource their technology needs.
I highly recommend that you read this posting from tech republic.