Can you sack your IT department?

Between the credit crunch, the consumerisation of IT and the rise of cloud services, the role of the IT department is going to change.

The majority of chief information officers (CIOs) do think that far more applications will be delivered over the web in five years' time; 61 per cent of larger companies in a recent Coleman Parkes study for But only 43 per cent think that means their IT department is going to be smaller.

Lindsey Armstrong, Salesforce's president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), believes that's unrealistic unless the CIO learns to add value to the business.

"They think they're going to have the same size IT department, but they're going to deliver more for less, they're going to get more ROI and they're going to offer more innovation," she said. "It's no surprise many of them feel valued less by the board."

Serena Software's chief executive Jeremy Burton points out that younger employees have far more familiarity with technology and particularly online services and applications, which can be an opportunity or a threat for the IT team.

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"If someone who's grown up with the web has got a tool he can pick up and solve a problem with, that he can deploy in the cloud, he's going to do it and he's probably not going to ask the IT team for permission," he said.

"I do believe the IT revolution is happening in [the] consumer [space]. The smart guys in the enterprise will watch and learn, the not-so-smart guys will stick their nose in the air and pretend consumer is all toys and the enterprise is different - and they'll end up in big trouble."

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