I worked in a large telecom manufacturer many years ago. I was on the manufacturing side but also working with our R&D sites located in North America and Europe. I worked in a group of 200 engineers that performed hardware/software/firmware sustaining engineering as well as providing extra hands to our R&D sites for overflow work.
So, we needed the same tools as our R&D people : high-performance large databases for hardware and software PDM, high-speed compilers for software, hardware modellers, digital telephony switches, digital switch emulators, Unix-based servers and workstations, and the like.
We had our own IT staff to manage our specific environment, separate from the central IT group. Our IT group did work with central IT at our site as well as the IT group at the R&D site but was dedicated to serving our specialized environment. Our embedded IT team also had the responsibility of synchronizing data and CAD/CAM/CASE/PDM toolsets with the external sites. Some of the embedded IT people had engineering experience using the tools and were actually doing 2 jobs, a balance of IT and engineering, which I have seen to be a rare commodity.
The rest of the facility of 3000 people included different functions such as finance, accounting, product management, manufacturing, component/test/manufacturing engineering which were best served by the central IT organization because they all used PCs and generic applications.
By way of this example, I am saying that if you have very specialized departments with their very own unique computing environments, that these departments may be best served by a dedicated embedded IT team with the skills that the central IT group may not have.
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