The traditional IT department will be made redundant and replaced by internet services by 2013, claims software as a service (Saa) vendor Nasstar.
Within five years, internally managed applications and desktops will be a thing of the past, with the internet being used to deliver computing systems, predicts Charles Black, CEO of Nasstar.
By 2013, most office workers will log on to the internet to access everything they need, including their desktop and applications such as Microsoft Office, accounting software, CRM systems and bespoke applications, Black said
"IT has become a utility. In the same way companies don't have a chief electricity officer to help people plug in and power their devices, so the costly overhead of IT management will be replaced by a simple plug-and-play approach over the internet," said Black.
This approach will eliminate the need to spend money on computing services, reduce support and installation headaches and simplify software asset management.
"The IT industry is in the middle of an industrial transformation, which is ending the need for IT staff who install and support traditional on-premise desktop computers," said Black.
IT support workers will still be needed, but the IT department will become a "business development department" and IT professionals will need to re-focus their skills on the business, he said.
"As with any industry where technology transforms the way things work, there is going to have to be re-deployment of skills. IT staff should have their skills focused on delivering competitive advantage for their businesses rather than being retained to deliver standard computing services that are a utility and can be delivered over the internet. Companies should be quick to change the focus of their IT department to be business development departments that ensure business success."
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