Let us consider if Cloud is the end of the IT department as we know it now. Applications will be delivered from private and public clouds to users in the same way as they are now. Where security and reliability/availability are important it will be from a private cloud. Otherwise it will be public for applications such as email, word processing and other productivity tools.
So the IT department can still monitor the applications, provide help desk for users and resolve issues. In the private cloud this is highly likely. The cost savings come from a data centre with efficient power and cooling, a Network Operations Centre for thousands of machines, bandwidth galore from all the major providers and the provision of cheap hardware supporting basic applications like Exchange and VM Ware.
Yes the IT department will go up-market with its skills. The basic operators and network/hardware engineers will disappear to the MSPs and you won’t need to buy hardware, just rent what you need and up-grade or turn off when you like. When you pay £40,000 per year for a 200 user VM Ware environment including all hardware, software and support, less than the cost of one VM Ware engineer, you have to look at making changes. Perhaps not today but you should next week because your competitors may well have already started.