A recession for IT departments is imminent, according to an IT systems company.

Enterprise IT teams will halve within 10 years as companies attempt to streamline infrastructure and outsource specialist work, according to Fujitsu Siemens.

IT teams were due for a "big shake-up", he said, with servers, storage and PCs being "managed more cost-effectively by external suppliers ... to achieve lower lifecycle costs," said the company's chief technologist Dave Pritchard.

Eventually, only a small group of people would be left to co-ordinate the work of suppliers.

Utilities would be the companies most likely to cut their IT departments and send out specialist work to outsourcing firms, while the security concerns at banks would limit their willingness to outsource certain functions.

As infrastructure becomes consolidated, network staff, traditionally responsible for connecting devices and systems, will be the first to lose their jobs, Prichard predicted. Next at risk would be those that run the systems, as more polices were set for those systems to run "automatically."

Fujitsu Siemens' warnings of difficult times ahead for IT, echoes the recent findings of other analyst groups.

A report issued by the Economist Intelligence Unit this week found that under half of CIOs presented IT issues in board discussions. Instead, chief financial officers and chief executives frequently take their place in discussions.

Similarly, last month analyst firm Gartner advised companies to cut their IT budgets before a recession took a full grip on the economy. But a National Computing Centre survey reported that IT spending would, at least, outstrip the economy.

In the UK budget last week, chancellor Alistair Darling failed to offer any real concessions or assistance to the IT industry.