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Who needs an IT department now?

With the growth and maturity of cloud-based IT services over the last few years many business are starting to ask whether they need to retain a dedicated IT function any more.

All the most common and widely-used business applications such as email, document management, CRM, ERP, HR and accounting that used to be run in-house are now all available in the cloud. And as well, outsourced IT support is now very much the norm. Against this landscape what’s left for internal IT functions to do and should we expect them gradually to disappear?

The short answer is probably not – even when most services are provided externally there are still a lot of things that just have to be done by someone internal. For a start, businesses will always need someone to understand which services and suppliers to choose from a crowded and confusing IT market, and to ensure that the services are being delivered as they should. Another major area comes when there is a need to share data between systems: this is where the individual commodity cloud services reach their limit. Lastly, setting and managing IT security policies and ensuring that company data is not being put at risk is a critical function that is growing in importance.

So, internal IT staff are unlikely to become extinct, rather they will continue to evolve to meet the ever-changing IT and business landscape.