There will always be solutions that IT has to cook up itself, but in the main, your business' needs and problems are not unique. Your plumbing is certainly not special. IT is filled with people who are continuously buying, upgrading, configuring, deploying, and maintaining largely identical machinery (software and hardware) for different employers. The amount of busywork invested in keeping the trade in commodity technology alive is mindboggling. We need to walk down the line of information technologies that haven't changed appreciably (or needed to) in a decade, call the finished projects finished, document them as standards, and stick them in the IT equivalent of the public domain. Then let's all innovate on top of that stack instead of wasting time on uncoordinated improvements to it.
The contribution of an operating system, programming language, database manager, or development toolset to a company's bottom line or an end-user's productivity is zero. The value of any of these as a service in a cloud is the same. Below a high water mark of essential modernization, and excepting real innovation in their categories, such enabling capabilities are commodities that should just ship with hardware. That the modern x86 server BIOS still vectors to ROM BASIC whenever it can't find a boot record speaks to the sorry state of IT evolution.
[ Earlier this week, Oracle agreed to buy Sun for $7.4B. InfoWorld's Neil McAllister correctly predicted the acquisition. What does the deal mean for Java? For Sun hardware? For MySQL? For Microsoft? ]