We are one of the finalists for IT Department of the Year in the BCS & Computing UK IT Industry Awards. I presented our case at the final judging and one of the questions was, “How many people in your IT Department”.

I didn’t know the answer. Not because I am not a detail person (which I’, not) , but because I am not sure what is included within “The IT Department”. Strange answer, but Nimbus is a glimpse of the future of IT Departments – IT Dept 2.0 – in the common parlance.

Nimbus has embraced Cloud Computing before it was called the Cloud. We’ve been offering our application, Nimbus Control as a hosted service (aka Cloud) for the last 5 years, and been a Salesforce.com customer for the last 7 years. Over the last 4 years we have replaced more and more of our on-premise applications with functionality built on top of the Force.com platform.  Now over 95% or our business runs on Salesforce.com and Force.com. So Salesforce.com runs our applications. How many of the Salesforce.com organisation do I count as part of the Nimbus “IT Department”?

Who built those applications? Our Business Excellence team. Whilst they report to the COO do I count them as part of the Nimbus “IT Department”?

We are a software company, so we have a help desk that supports our clients around the world. But that same help desk supports our staff from an IT perspective.   Do I count them as part of the Nimbus “IT Department”?

When I was the IT Director of a major Government department, before I founded Nimbus, when asked what I did I would say I had a department of 500 people and a budget of £40m.  Size of department and budget was a measure of success.

Not now.  IT Department 2.0 is very different. So are the skills required by team. Less about technology, more commercially minded. Less development focus, more procurement skills. Small, agile and leverage the hell out of 3rd parties is the name of the game. So size is not important.

So will we win the IT Department of the Year award?  Not if it is by a measure of size of department – unless of course the judges understand that small is beautiful and they have seen a glimpse of the future.

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