Jim Pinto discusses the decline of corporate IT departments (among other things) in his latest eNewsletter.

I thought I’d respond with a few thoughts. His premise is that the cloud and the “bring your on device” movements will cause a big decline in corporate IT departments. He conjures images of Dilbert’s nemesis, Mordach, the Preventer of IT, in his discussion.

It’s easy to forget that IT leaders brought in great productivity enhancing tools, but, also from the old mainframe ideas, they brought in enterprise planning applications that forced companies to fit their business practices to fit the application.

The Cloud will change that–even the prototype of the monolithic ERP system, SAP, is moving rapidly to the Cloud.

The Cloud enables information anywhere in a manner not possible before. Mobile devices along with analytics, business intelligence and visualization improvements are enabling faster, better decision making at the appropriate level of the organization.

IT organizations still must lead and enable the proliferation of new technologies. Their crucial roles are probably in the realm of cyber security. Martin Ford foresaw in his book, “Lights in the Tunnel,” that automation will cause the elimination of many IT jobs. The shift to the cloud moves some of these jobs from client companies to service provider companies. But other jobs will also be eliminated in the shift.

Interesting about Manufacturing IT. They brought in MES-level applications, and then upper management figured they had done their job and laid them all off. Just like advanced process control, these systems don’t run themselves in perpetuity. Many are now realizing that a certain staffing level is required to fully exploit the benefits of the technology.

Departments come and go, but essential functions survive.

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