I’ve been thinking deeply about a definition of Web Governance and the formalization of methodologies for implementing Web Governance in organizations for the last ten years. As I venture out to speak about Web Governance, I find that different organizations have different senses of what Web Governance is (and isn’t). Some have a very broad idea of Web Governance, which might include operational and production-related business processes. Some think of it as the rules related to Web content management (but not Web applicationsdevelopment). Some relate Web Governance to Web Team management. All of these concerns need to be addressed under the larger umbrella ofWeb Operations Management. But, Web Governance, I feel, is something very distinct and should be examined away from all the noise of Web site production and Web Team management. Below, I’ve offered up my definition of Web Governance. I’m hoping for comments and discussion so we, as a community, can help codify the meaning of Web Governance and contribute to the maturation of the Web Management profession.
The Business Case for Web Governance
Over the years, the organizational Web presence has grown organically to such an extent that ad hoc and informal business processes and management and production guidelines are no longer adequate to manage it. The continued growth of the organizational Web presence managed by informal processes and guidelines exposes organizations to risk and liability. Key risks include loss of credibility, loss of market share, resource waste, and risk of litigation. While the risks associated with a corporate Web presence can not be completely eliminated, they can certainly be mitigated and the liabilities which come along with an underperforming or low-quality Web presence reduced–but only if organizations apply standard corporate governance constraints over Web operational practices.