Long live the CIO, but kiss the IT dept. goodbye

Have you seen that headline before? I have.  I wrote it almost three years ago in a column where I said:I predict that this decade will be marked by a giant shift in the information technology mindset.

Have you seen that headline before? I have.  I wrote it almost three years ago in a column where I said:

I predict that this decade will be marked by a giant shift in the information technology mindset. By 2010, the majority of IT will be outsourced and the companies that outsource their IT will have a skeleton staff of IT and project management professionals whose job it will be to keep their consultancies' efforts closely synched up to the business size and objectives. Depending on the size of the company, there may only be one or two of these people....If you're keen on being one of these people, you need to start developing a solid track record in outsourcing management now. If, like me, you prefer to tinker with the technology, press buttons, and watch the lights blink, you should set your sights on one of the consultancies.

I was reminded of that prediction by a story that was published yesterday on InfoWorld.com.  The headline reads Gartner: IT groups shrinking, changing.  In a bout of deja vu, the report attributes the following statement to a Gartner report:

Through 2010, 30 percent of IT workers will migrate to vendors or service providers

..and quotes Gartner analyst Diane Morello as saying

By 2010, IT organizations in midsize and large companies will be 30 percent smaller than they were this year, predicts Gartner. Ten percent to 15 percent of IT workers today will fully drop out of the IT occupation in the same time frame, choosing to become teachers or take on work in government.

Thirty percent seems a bit conservative to me. Especially given the fuzzy math.  If 30 percent of IT workers are migrating to vendors or service providers and 10 to 15 percent of IT workers are dropping out altogether,....  OK, even if the fuzzy math is right,  I'll see Gartner's 30 percent and raise it another 20 to 50 percent.  And like my first analysis of the situation three years ago, that prediction comes at a bit of a discount to what Gartner normally charges for it's timely advice.

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