chapter  10

The Business of Managing Distributed Systems

WithRichard Ross

Many of the top concerns of managers in IS departments relate directly to the issues of distributing information technology to end users. The distributed computing environment is largely a result of the loss of control by the central IS group because of its inability to deliver appropriate levels of service to the business units. To help IS managers get a grip on the problem, this chapter proposes a model of service delivery for the distributed computing environment. This model focuses on three factors that have the most important influence on service as well as on the needs of the business units vs. the corporation — risk, cost, and quality. The measure of success in a distributed computing environment is the ability to deliver service through optimizing for the factors of risk, cost, and quality while meeting the needs of both the business units and the corporation.