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Obstacles of Globally Distributed IT Departments

Level 12

Centralizing globally distributed corporate IT departments is a large challenge for enterprises. A distributed system not only taxes enterprise resources, but also threatens to impede the efficiency of the growing company. In such organizations, it’s the responsibility of the IT team to manage the infrastructure, technology solutions, and services spread out among thousands of employees across the globe.

In addition, IT teams must support all employee-facing technology including, networks, servers, help desk, asset management, and more. In short, it’s a tough job to support distributed site locations of varying sizes, mostly because of the large number of networking devices and several hundred systems and datacenters housing both virtualized and physical systems.

Disparate IT Management vs. Holistic IT Infrastructure Management

Large enterprises often end up operating individually by region with each location managing its own infrastructure. This fragmented approach consumes a huge amount of resources and diminishes operational efficiency.

Some additional consequences to this approach can include:

  • Regional accountability for individual growth versus the company as a whole
  • Absence of global alignment around service availability and monitoring
  • Duplication of efforts—multiple administrators performing the same tasks

A better, more efficient approach to managing globally distributed IT departments is to build and unify a team equipped to scale as the company grows. This can only be accomplished by adopting a holistic approach towards IT infrastructure management.

A holistic management method provides teams with greater global visibility, alert notification and management, capacity management, service availability, and the ability to measure metrics beyond ‘just uptime’. The key to achieving operational efficiency is to maintain a central access point for all information required for complete visibility, stability and capacity across the global IT infrastructure.

In a network of numerous multi-vendor devices and device types, it’s vital that monitoring and maintenance is centralized. It’s important to leverage end-to-end visibility by prioritizing and focusing efforts to understand the nodes that need attention, those that are nearing full capacity, and those that can be left alone for now.

By unifying monitoring capabilities, IT teams can increase operational efficiency and function efficiently as one unit as their organizations grow and evolve. Some early advantages of a unified approach include:

  • Shared monitoring information that provides faster response to downtime
  • Greater visibility into how changes to business critical devices impact the network
  • Ability to monitor and manage multi-vendor devices under one management umbrella
  • Successfully and confidently meeting end-user SLAs

Holistic IT infrastructure management can be achieved by investing in a software solution or tool. It’s important to choose a tool that helps meet the goals of the IT team, is cost effective, and requires minimal training.

NetSuite, is a leading provider of cloud-based business management software covering enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), e-commerce, inventory and more to over 20,000 organizations and subsidiaries worldwide. NetSuite uses SolarWinds Solution Suite to centrally manage its globally distributed IT organization.

Level 15

Good information.  Educational article. 


it also helps immensely to have  common method of monitoring things...naming conventions, rules for adding/removing items.  Then as a global entity everyone will understand how things are configured at each site.