The Extinction of the IT Department


Look guys, the stars are getting closer!

In June I’ll be talking at the Cloud Computing World Forum on a few topics close to my heart, one of those being the impending extinction of the IT department. In case you’re not able to attend the event I thought I’d collate some of my thoughts and opinions here.

Let’s jump into our time machines (what, you don’t have a personal time machine?) and turn back the clock to 2001. At that point I was free-lancing as a Desktop-Server-Network support guy so I was often climbing around the IT guts of start-ups, SMBs and some large companies. Even in the smallest business you had:

  • Server Hardware
  • Server OS Software
  • Backup hardware & software
  • Database Server Software
  • Email Server Software
  • Office Productivity Software
  • Routers and/or switches
  • A person or people to maintain each of the above with their accompanying salaries, medical insurance, pension etc.

If the small company happened to be a development house you’d need to add:

  • Server Housings
  • Server Rooms with security and fire proofing
  • More Powerful Hardware

Getting even a small company off the ground was expensive!

Looking back just 10 years this seems archaic. Tquila – and I’m sure a lot of other startups out there – would scoff at this approach. Server hardware? Pah! Database Administrators? Do you know how much those guys get paid?!

Seriously though cloud technology has enabled our company, which is now well beyond 20 employees, to work incredibly efficiently. Our business is 100% in the cloud i.e. every point made above is facilitated by a service that we buy or get for free! Not only are we able to get our work done, we’re able to do it significantly better than would’ve been done 10 years ago for tiny fraction of the cost. So what are we doing in the cloud? I’m glad you asked because we:

  • Develop our software in the cloud including,
  • Project management
  • Email and comms
  • Office productivity suite
  • Leads, opportunities and sales
  • Comms and virtual meetings? In the cloud baby!
5 Million | Number of physical servers in the world today. By 2013, 60% of their workload will be virtualised.

Not only is this approach more efficient, letting us focus on the important things, it means that all of data is available on any internet connected device 24-7-365 (366 in leap years:). All without an IT department.

We were lucky and worked in the cloud from the get-go but I know that some of the biggest institutions in the world can see the wisdom in such a move and are adjusting their course as I type – next stop, the cloud!

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