There is an evolution occurring in the IT outsourcing industry, thanks partly to the growth of cloud computing, said Jamie Erbes, chief technology officer for Hewlett-Packard Software and Solutions.

In an interview with Forbes, Erbes said that outsourcing IT has shifted to multi-sourcing IT, in that the original concept of handing off an entire IT department - including, often, the CIO - has evolved into selective outsourcing of different services to different providers.

This is partly due to the growth of cloud computing, which allows companies to put certain services and data in the cloud on a case-by-case basis, she added.

As a result, the role of the IT department has changed from planning, designing, building and running IT to sourcing, integrating and managing it.

Consequently, it has become increasingly important for IT executives to "keep tabs on the integrity of IT as it all blends back together into the business services that they need to offer back to the business units," she told Forbes.

Small and midsize businesses that do not have the resources for a dedicated IT department can particularly benefit from outsourcing IT and using cloud computing offerings to help maximize their IT performance in a cost-effective way, experts advise.

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