Gartner advised leaders of information systems (IS) departments to decide by the end of this year whether the long-term future of their departments lies in delivering information technology (IT) services to individual business units or in offering strategic value to the wider business. The choice is being forced upon IS leaders by the accelerating capabilities of external service providers and the increasing need for IT services.

Gartner warned IS leaders to act now to safeguard the value that business technology contributes and predicts that by 2010, the number of IT staff in the profession will shrink by 15 percent. Gartner presented its views on the future of the IS organization at its Symposium/ITxpo at Palau de Congressos de Catalunya in Barcelona.

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