This paper deals with the issue of designing distributed computer systems for large decentralized organizations. Specific problems addressed within this context include: determining the number of computer installations, choosing the sites that will receive these installations, deciding on the sizes of computers at different sites, configuring databases, allocating databases to computer installations and assigning users to computer installations. A class of decentralized organizations is identified for which decisions regarding the database configuration and the allocation of databases among processors can be effectively merged with decisions regarding the assignment of user nodes to processors. For these organizations, the design problem is formulated as an integer programming model. A brief outline of an effective solution procedure is provided and potential uses of the model as a design tool is demonstrated through a number of experiments.