The days of the traditional IT department are numbered. That is the stark prediction of Charles Black, CEO of Nasstar.
And he's not alone; back in March, Fujitsu Siemens Computers released a report pointing in that direction.
Budget, man-hours and productivity are currently being sacrificed to the management of desktops and on-premise systems.
But Black claims that on-premise will soon be a thing of the past with the internet being used to deliver all a businesses' core computing services, making the traditional IT departments redundant.
Within five years, predicts Black, the vast majority of office workers will log-on to the internet to access everything they need, from their own desktop and day-to-day applications, such as Microsoft Office, to accounting software, CRM systems and even bespoke applications.
“IT has become a utility. And 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.”
Black believes by accessing applications in this way, companies will eliminate capital expenditure on core computing services and reduce headaches such as support, installation and the bugbear of software asset management.
Workers will also become more mobile as they access all applications and their own desktop from anywhere.
“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."
But 2013 need not be unlucky for techies, however, admits Black.
“As with any industry where technology transforms the way things work there’s 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 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."