Organisations that cannot support growth and innovation will become irrelevant, according to Gartner fellow and group vice president Richard Hunter.
"Anything that doesn't support growth is expendable," he said.
"You're either a contributor to the business, or you're an expense to be cut."
To support a high level of innovation, IT leaders also need to begin succession planning as the baby boomer generation continues to age.
He said IT leaders need to find and nurture fresh talent that is multi-skilled and multi-disciplined.
Gartner fellow and vice president Mark Raskino said monocultures that 'only respect engineers' won't attract the right talent.
"If you want to be world-class, you need to make space for your next great IT innovator, who is more likely to be female," Raskino said.
"Your next B2B partner is likely to be from China, and your next knowledge work strategist is probably under 25 years of age.
"Companies who only work in strict hierarchies simply cannot understand Web 2.0 collective intelligence methods."
Raskino said this new workforce will be a totally digital generation, fully immersed in digital technology.
"IT organisations need to embrace and extend consumerisation. However, most IT departments are getting a bad reputation for preventing the entry of valuable consumer originating technologies," he said.
"IT departments need to change this perception by being the people that spot the technologies first, smooth their entry, accelerate their spread, make them safe and secure, and exploits their benefits for the organisation.
Gartner's global head of research Peter Sondergaard said a new phase in IT is emerging.
By 2009, he said organisations will be required to deliver scaled-down versions of content, applications and value-added services.
"By 2010, a substantial shift in platform ownership will be underway. The consumer will commence owning a larger portion of your IT infrastructure," Sondergaard said.