If you are responsible for a business that uses computers you should do the company a big favour and try out Gmail and Google Docs. You might find it can replace many of your servers and save your company a lot of money on software licensing. Have a look at this BusinessReview Europe article, it gives an interesting view on the expansion of Gmail and Google Docs.
At the very least you should ask what is the total annual cost of running local servers for email, office software for wordprocessing spreadsheet collaboration. The cost of running the desktop PC's and continual software upgrades. Take the total finance cost, capital write down, licensing costs, support costs, maintenance, electric power costs, cooling costs etc to develop a holistic view. Then add the cost of providing a business continuity facility for those services. Take total annual cost and divide it by the number of people actively using the system. If the result comes to more than £35 a year per person you need to look more seriously at gmail and google docs. I'll exclude highly variable printing costs from this, but they'd be the same with either approach.
It is free to try.
If you are paying more than £350 to purchase a desktop PC (including software) once every four years to have a problem with your current arrangements. If your desktop PC uses more than 30 Watts power you could be paying too much in operating costs for the electrical power. There are better performing and lower cost alternatives.
Here's an example for 3500 staff at Hillingdon Council using Google Apps.
I'll happily chat with people about this on the phone. No charge!
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