As an increasing number of CIOs and executives turn to cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS) for help with reducing IT costs and deployment times, some industry experts are beginning to wonder what this trend will mean for the future of the IT sector.

One industry expert, Scott Swanburg of enterprise software company Citrix, even speculated that SaaS could mean the end of CIOs, as it is accessible even to non-technical users and thereby can bypass the IT department entirely.

However, he eventually concluded that SaaS can actually help a CIO by changing the "vicious cycle" in which overstaffed and underbudget IT departments must continue to rely on outdated legacy systems "until the entire system begins to collapse from its own legacy operational weight," he wrote in the Citrix blog.

The alternatives to this model, he said, were outsourcing IT and virtualization - particularly of applications and server farms - which he called "the only two ways to effectively 'change' the way IT is done."

In addition, cloud computing may be a "secure and seamless combination of the two," he added.

Businesses seem to be catching on, as the cloud computing market is expanding rapidly and bringing in record revenue, as adoption rates continue to soar - according to a recent survey from F5 Networks, 99 percent of businesses are discussing implementing or have already deployed cloud computing solutions.

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