This paper focuses on how the growing phenomena of IT outsourcing, of cloud computing and, more specifically, of SaaS are changing the role of the IT manager within organizations. Is the so-called “IT commoditization” jeopard- izing the strategic role of the CIO? In order to answer this question, we analyze 20 interviews conducted in the years 2010-2012 to IT managers, general manag- ers and marketing managers of 4 medium and large size Northern Italy enterpris- es. We found that, in the emerging scenario, success is associated to strong rela- tional, integration and business-related capabilities of the IT managers. The out- comes confirmed that if the IT manager and the IT department prove capable of these performances, the strategic role of IT, far from being weakened by Cloud and SaaS approaches, is enhanced. These findings are consistent with Lawrence and Lorsch’s theory on the importance of organizational integration in highly challenging environments.
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