Gartner Research

Leading an Effective Global IT Organization

Published: 01 December 2009

ID: G00173497

Analyst(s): Ellen Kitzis , Mary Mesaglio

Summary

More enterprises are asking IT to lead the journey to a global optimum operating model. To ensure IT success in this role, CIOs must consider where and how to make decisions in a global context, what and how much to standardize, and where to locate resources.

Table Of Contents
  • Overview

Foreword

Executive Summary

  • There are multiple routes to the global optimum operating model
  • Find your optimum: Where and how to make decisions
  • Find your optimum: What and how much to standardize
  • Find your optimum: Where to locate the resources/work

There are multiple routes to the global optimum operating model

  • Global business is not one-size-fits-all
  • More enterprises are asking IT to lead the journey to globalization
  • Choose the optimum global IT model based on intrinsic, rather than accidental, differences
  • The optimum operating model involves multiple trade-offs
  • The trend is clearly toward a more centralized operating model for global IT

Find your optimum: Where and how to make decisions

  • Determine what is driving your business to globalize or localize
  • For the major components of the IT operating model, determine who decides what
  • Understand that clarity is more important than type in mature governance

Find your optimum: What and how much to standardize

  • Defining a commodity is often the biggest point of contention
  • The more centralized the model, the greater the number of commodities
  • Global differentiating processes should also be standardized

Find your optimum: Where to locate the resources/work

  • Decide where the work should be done
  • Decide where to locate resources/work
  • Locate the work in the geography best suited to deliver it
  • Create vibrant global peer networks
  • Pursue a third avenue in the centralize-vs.-decentralize debate
  • Assess your readiness for the transition to a new operating model
  • Conclusion

Appendix: Case Studies

  • ArcelorMittal—Federated IT to match a federated business
  • Department for International Development, U.K.—Centralized IT for a highly multilocal enterprise
  • Mahindra Group—Mature governance and IT credibility sustain an effective federated model
  • Microsoft—Six degrees of freedom between local and global decisions
  • Unilever—Turning geographic reach to advantage

Further Reading

  • Gartner Executive Programs reports
  • Core research
  • Books
  • Articles

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