The death of in-house IT? Only partially… Force.com 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 SalesForce.com 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 Force.com 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 SalesForce.com 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, Force.com’s Sites technology, has more than 51,800 customers including such heavy hitters as Sprint Nextel and Dow Jones Newswires. Previous coverage here of Force.com.

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