Within many businesses, the adoption of cloud-computing productivity applications generally went like this:
Sales manager: "We need to implement a CRM system. How long will that take?"
IT manager: "Can you get back to me in about a year? We're very backlogged on projects."
Sales manager: "Uh, OK."
And so the sales manager went off and subscribed to Salesforce.com's CRM service, adopting cloud computing as a way to get around the IT department. That's been changing, however, as IT managers come to understand the potential benefits of using cloud-based personal productivity applications, from lower infrastructure costs, to improved flexibility, to eliminating time-consuming software implementations and upgrades. While the ranks of on-demand software vendors grow daily, here are the 20 coolest cloud productivity applications that solution providers and their customers should be aware of.