What Is Delegated Administration?

In the world of information systems, delegated administration has to do with the assignment of controls or rights to manage specified programs or systems that are utilized within the overall structure of a business operation. By assigning or delegating certain access rights and their attendant privileges to qualified individuals in the departments that actually use those programs, the information systems team can focus more on the tasks of managing the overall network and dealing with any interruptions in services that may take place, and in general not have to deal with day to day tasks that can just as easily be managed successfully by authorized users. This approach is often an efficient way of dividing essential tasks among company personnel so that lag times on certain tasks are reduced and productivity overall is maintained at a higher level.

With a delegated administration approach, IT personnel who are ultimately responsible for the operation of the company’s systems can assign liberal rights and privileges to authorized personnel with different departments. Those privileges will often involve assigning access rights to the people they actively manage, customizing those privileges on a per user basis, and also taking care of troubleshooting issues that can normally be resolved in a matter of minutes. In a sense, these master users form an ancillary part of the IT team, as they are entrusted to handle certain tasks relevant to the systems used by their teams, without having to wait for information technology personnel to break away from more pressing matters to manage those simple tasks.

One example of delegated administration is found with the management of a sales database. The database itself, along with the access to the central database that resides on a server, is normally set up by the information systems team. From there, the sales manager or supervisor is granted rights and privileges that include setting up access codes for each of the members of the sales team, restricting access to different types of information in the database by individual user privileges, and setting the limitations for general sales team functions such as the generation of activity reports. The supervisor may also have the ability to delete a user from the system or further refine individual privileges for any user under his or her management.

When used effectively, delegated administration frees the IT team to focus on issues that are crucial to the continued operation of the network and the systems that reside on that network. Those authorized at departmental levels manage basic tasks that are important to productivity, without the need to wait for the IT team to break away and manage those tasks personally. The end result of delegated administration is that each department can make the most efficient use of its time and resources, which ultimately helps the company to be more productive and hopefully more profitable.