By 2010, every business and organisational activity will revolve around the effective use of web-based content and applications, according to Gartner.
At next week's Gartner Symposium in Cannes, the analyst firm will urge corporate IT users to prepare for the "second age of the internet" by looking at consumer developments and trying to apply them to their businesses.
The availability of cheap bandwidth, fast desktop hardware, low-cost open source infrastructure products, web services and Java standards are creating new possibilities for corporate IT, delegates will be told.
Speaking to Computer Weekly, Gartner fellow Mark Raskini said, "We are in a transition stage and CIOs will need to implement new policies. They must take a view and look at how they can apply the technology in their own organisations."
End-users will expect to connect home PCs and mobile phone devices into the corporate network and run applications such as instant messaging when they are at work. Such technologies are being used within the business without the IT department having a formal strategy on how they should be used, said Gartner.
Raskini said, "We now have the ability to create micro applications that can download to a browser quickly and run fast."
He also urged IT directors to assess how technology targeted at consumers, such as the Google search bar, was being run by end-users within their businesses.
He said the Google Desktop 2.0 search put a search bar in Outlook and could search e-mail faster than Outlook itself. It could therefore become the search tool of choice for end-users.
Another concept IT directors should assess is Wikipedia, Raskini said. Gartner sees this free online encyclopedia as an example of global collaboration among end-users that allows people to edit web pages directly. "You should look at how this concept can be applied in your own business," he said.