At last month's TDWI World Conference in Chicago, keynote speaker David Wells made some bold predictions about the future of IT. One was that IT departments as we know them will likely disappear within 10 to 15 years. That's well within the range of existing estimates Wells says are probably too generous already.

IT, in his view, finally has become a commodity. Business is dynamic and impatient, and pure techies don't hold the mystique they once did. Coming off the downturn that already compromised IT's role, the business now aims to literally combine technology providers and users.

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