The way I've done it is using software package management. This includes Redhat based (rpms), Debian (dpkg) or BSD (pkgng or ports). Creating packages is a bit of a pain. But a definitive way to ensure uniform machines.
Re: Ensuring cpan modules installed on all computers in a network are consistent
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Would this be a case of running a root script which secure shells to each computer on the network and yum install or apt-get install the required library. I assume this would save the downloaded package in /usr/lib and the perl module would then be available for all users on that computer?
You could do that. The way I've done is via puppet and cfengine. Also via func and ansible. Ducks for mentioning python apps on a perl pub These methods require some work to get setup. SSL or SSH if you're the paranoid type (want to sleep soundly through the night).
Assuming your using CentOS. Lets also assume a perl module rpm isn't available through the main or extras yum repo. BE VARY CAREFUL ABOUT DOWNLOADING RPMS FROM THE OPEN INTERNET. As you really can't trust what's in them. When in doubt, build your own rpm.
It would be akin to downloading a exe from gnutella. Which is most surely a trojan.