Today, TechRepublic member joebastian posted in our Forums asking for advice on how to best organize an IT department. With a department of over 200 IT staff, joebastian is looking for "What would be the best org structure of this dept." and wants to know "the designations and the job roles that fit well with the current industry practices." (Join the discussion.)
Unfortunately, there are only a few standard practices, and there are lots of different ways to organize an IT department. In my opinion, the biggest question to ask is whether you want a centralized IT department, a decentralized one, or a mix. A centralized IT department has one monolithic department with a clear hierarchical structure, centralized under one CIO or IT executive. A decentralized IT department is organized so that tech support and IT resources are allocated separately to each business unit, and the IT professionals can either report up through the management team of that business unit or can still report up through IT while having the business unit set work priorities.
Whether a centralized or decentralized model is best will often depend on a number of factors, including the size of the organization, the organization's culture, the geographic spread, and the line of business that you are in.
Here are a few TechRepublic resources that can help with this issue:
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Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.