Why IT should not be in charge of a company website

It used to be a common practice that the IT department was responsible for a company website. That was okay in the old days of brochure-ware websites when the primary function of a site was to state the company name and address. However, times have changed, and websites have a clear purpose: To promote and sell company products and services. When was the last time your IT manager came up with an online marketing plan? Or a strategic business development idea?

The role of an IT department is to ensure your IT network is up-to-date, secure and functional. If the IT department manages your website, you are at risk of having great functionality but no message.

Appoint a Web Ambassador

A Web Ambassador is usually at a management level and has a full understanding of your business strategy including marketing and sales. Though she does not need to be a programmer she must have knowledge of web systems and technical functionalities as well as online marketing strategies. Your Web Ambassador should be the point of contact for all your departments. Her job is come up with ideas for content, functionality and strategy your website should have to help them achieve their goals. She should also know how to ‘translate’ your Google Analytics reports in plain English, suggest specific improvements, estimate costs and return on investment. Web Ambassador can be an internal position within your company, or it can be a trusted consultant.

A website should not be in the domain of a single department

The reason you don’t want your website to reside with a single department - Marketing, Sales, or IT - is that you would be running into a risk that it will centre around needs of a single department. Unfortunately, communication among various departments is not always ideal. If your website resides with Marketing, it may be marketing-oriented but may not support the sales needs. And,  if it resides with Sales, it may turn into a sales pitch that may jeopardise your marketing efforts.

In the next few days, take some time to go over your website and talk to your employees to find out how does the website help them achieve their goals. Ask them to make a wishlist of things they would like to see on the website. It's a great opportunity for brainstorming session that may reveal the hidden potential of your web presence.


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