Your next boss may not be the CIO, or any other IT manager for that matter

IT departments on organizations' hit lists for extinction, but don't worry -- IT skills are needed more than ever.

IT departments may soon become an extinct species in organizations. Not because organizations are downplaying information technology, but because organizations are essentially large IT departments in and of themselves.

That's one of the views to emerge from the recent CITE Conference, documented by ComputerWorld's Lucas Mearian, who has posted some very compelling pieces lately on the evolution of IT management, pointing out that it's highly likely that IT departments will not exist in five years, and IT managers and professionals will be playing new types of roles in their organizations.

As Brandon Porco, chief technologist & solutions architect at Northrop Grumman, so bluntly put it:"The business itself will be the IT department. [Technologists] will simply be the enabler."

As the major analyst firms keep predicting, many IT functions are being subsumed into line-of-business units. For example, it's being widely predicted that chief marketing officers will soon have larger technology budgets than CIOs.

Where does this leave CIOs and IT professionals? More essential than ever, because corporate strategies now rely on digitization to attain and retain competitiveness. Porco says that CIOs are evolving away from technologists and toward "technology forecasters and strategists."

(Thumbnail photo credit: Joe McKendrick.)