I've always taken two things as given. One, RIAs provide a far better experience for every day users and make them more productive. Two, that it was difficult to convince companies to spend money on that kind of prodictivitiy. That's why I was interested to read about the opinion of Rebecca Wettermann at Nucleus Research. She says that increasingly workers and their technology needs are being paid more attention to by companies than they used to:
There was a time when IT departments could get away with forcing employees to use complicated and hard-to-use software. The average worker didn’t know that better alternatives were out there. But as workers gain experience with consumer-focused software – either in their personal lives or at the office – they’re starting to realize that software can be easy to use and quick to get started on. It started with productivity boosters like instant messaging and collaboration software, but it’s crept into the realm of software that’s traditionally the realm of IT departments, such as sales automation.
She's got a good point. As users spend more time with complex RIAs on the consumer side, they're making the obvious leap that some of this technology could make their jobs easier and themselves more productive. Hopefully that means that more companies will spend the bit extra on creating an RIA solution that works for their users as opposed to stuffing bad user experiences down on people.