The death of in-house IT? Only partially… enables outsourcing IT

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Let’s face it–no matter how tech savvy Gen Y is, enterprises will forever need an IT department. (Some employees can’t figure out how to turn on their computers.) But as more and more data moves to the cloud, the role of IT will change.

For example, Cathedral Partners contracted with Appirio to build an entirely cloud-based database on the platform. The new system was designed and developed in less than four months by Appirio, and it works seamlessly with Cathedral Partners’ existing Salesforce CRM application.

Michael Wolverton, Cathedral Partners CEO, told me that “Security and scalability were the major obstacles for building out own application–by using the platform, we shifted those responsibilities onto them.”

It’s an interesting dilemma–the reverse of the classic Spiderman quote “With great power, comes great responsibility.” With much of the IT responsibility,outsourced, Cathedral Partners is now entirely dependant on and Appirio to keep everything running. Similarly, their ability to grow is tightly intertwined with Appirio.

Granted, Cathedral Partners is a small firm, but it’s no small feat for every single employee to focus on working with clients. Similarly, Appirio last year had 500% year over year growth as measured by revenue.

And the underlying platform,’s Sites technology, has more than 51,800 customers including such heavy hitters as Sprint Nextel and Dow Jones Newswires. Previous coverage here of

  • Ian Gilyeat

    A great example of why companies are moving portions of IT into the cloud. Having said that, whether its in the cloud or in the data center for most employees it makes little difference. The question of outsourcing comes front and center for smaller companies that move IT functions into the cloud, where there previously may not have been available to them. In many ways, the shift to cloud computing extends the outsourcing model that has been used by big business down market into every company that is interested.

    • jess

      but is it really a good idea to give control of your company’s major infratstucture to other companies and start being totally dependent on them. Usually i can forsee a few major problems with that approach.


  • Dave Ploch

    Moving applications to the cloud does NOT remove the need for an IT department in most enterprises. Who is going to deal with networking, security, end user support, etc. What is does partially do, is remove much of the infrastructure that an organization is required to maintain and reduce the server operational loads. ALL the problems with technology are still there.

    • Jeff Widman

      Dave–great summary. IT certainly won’t go away, but they’ll deal less with the infrastructure, and more with on-site issues relevant to keeping employees productive.

    • Glenn Weinstein

      Dave – I agree. But removing the infrastructure issues frees up IT to focus more on what IT leaders have been saying they want to do for years – focus on solving business problems. We all know that traditional IT spends more time chasing down routine maintenance and operations issues than working with the business on creative ways to use technology as a tool to juice revenue and lower overall costs. SaaS, ultimately will redefine, not remove, corporate IT.

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