Can you sack your IT department?

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.

"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."

Mary Branscombe

Mary is a freelance business technology journalist who has written for the likes of ITPro, CIO, ZDNet, TechRepublic, The New Stack, The Register, and many other online titles, as well as national publications like the Guardian and Financial Times. She has also held editor positions at AOL’s online technology channel, PC Plus, IT Expert, and Program Now. In her career spanning more than three decades, the Oxford University-educated journalist has seen and covered the development of the technology industry through many of its most significant stages.

Mary has experience in almost all areas of technology but specialises in all things Microsoft and has written two books on Windows 8. She also has extensive expertise in consumer hardware and cloud services - mobile phones to mainframes. Aside from reporting on the latest technology news and trends, and developing whitepapers for a range of industry clients, Mary also writes short technology mysteries and publishes them through Amazon.