Why do organizations find it so hard to update websites?

Ask small  or large organizations- for profit, non-profit or government ones – and top managers will admit that their website could be better in both content and looks. Understanding why organizations find it so hard to update websites is useful. Here are five thoughts:

  1. "Bricks" organization legacy: Remember that any business that existed before 2000 had an "inside" the organization and "outside" the organization mentality. Hence the Communication and PR department, the press release and the company/non-profit or government "spokesperson." A medium that is  easy, free and immediate like the company website is something that most legacy organizations are simply not organized to deal with.
  2. It's not technology: Consider that folks update their Facebook status several times a day and enthusiasts agonize and spend a lot of time to figure out the appropriate pictures and persona they want to project. Web content systems are clunkier than Facebook but are getting better. They will include the Analytic codes and social media buttons for every page- but the content problem remains.
  3. Mandates to the web folks don't work: Despite social media, a surge in worldwide aspirations for democracy traditional management is basically the old military model of "mandates." So you might "mandate" an external web agency/internal web department and that too does not work.  The agency's first priority is to keep the contract going and not chase individuals in your organization. Also the web agency is not particularly interested or capable of understanding  the insides of your organization, how it works, where it wants to go and what might (in website terms) help getting it there. So what's the solution? 
  4. Align pages to responsibility centers: Every page must have an owner who executes around the content of the page(for "Execution" see an earlier post on Jack Welch's 4E's and one P) . For example, the Supply Chain department  who own the Supply Chain function should own the supplier pages of the company website. These would include the Supply department's mission,vision,supplier registration and supplier portal , supplier diversity etc. Thus,start with responsibilities within the organization first, then trying to map pages to to those responsibile for the activity itself. The idea is: Organization mission—> department/individual responsibilities—> web pages
  5.  Web agencies/departments: have a huge role and reason  in trying to nudge organizations towards more fully owning the pages as above. Instead of "owning" client pages agencies should actively facilitate client's operations folks to "own" pages. This way ad agencies can focus on their traditional ad agency role of helping with branding on the web and integrating marketing communication messages off-line and online. In addition,spend time on developing  analytic and digital marketing skills to cope with an increasingly complex and challenging digital marketing environment.Contact StratoServe.

Thus trying to link the organization's mission to responsibility centers that own the pages and the delivery of what is promised on a particular page -might be a way to update websites more easily. Contact StratoServe.

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