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Needless to say, task of developing corporate web site should not become part of IS world. The IS department provides back-end systems that drive site. They should not design it.
Should task of developing web site go to Marketing department? The answer is, not necessarily. It is true, Internet is a wonderful marketing tool, but if your site is selling products Marketing department has no business administering it. Their time is better spent promoting it.
In most cases it would be best to establish a separate department made up of information architects, content developers and graphic designers. This group (we'll call it Internet Development department) works closely with IS and Marketing departments to accomplish their ends.
The IS or Marketing departments should not oversee Internet Development department. As a general rule, oil and water do not mix. Creative and analytical minds can compliment each other and contribute to a successful project, but there may be problems when one controls other. It generally results in wasted efforts and unnecessary tension.
So, if you are a business owner, and you want your business to be successful with in-house web site development, what should you do?
1. Hire an information architect(s) (someone who will organize information that will go in your site).
2. Hire a graphic designer(s) with strong Internet design skills (preferably with knowledge of html and other forms of Internet programming).
3. Group these two together and let them consult with Marketing department for branding purposes and utilize services of Information Systems department to get your site live on web.
4. Have everyone report to you alone.
5. Be open minded.
Itís that easy.
If your company does not have resources to create a new department and hire an Internet development staff, you may want to seriously consider hiring an agency to create your site. The cost to do so is less than paying salaries. Having a professional, experienced agency create your Web presence will make you more money in long run than having an inexperienced individual do work.
Jake Gorst is a writer, film maker, and president of Exploded View (http://www.explodedview.tv), a new media advertising and design company. He also is a frequent contributor to various trade publications on topics related to Web site and architectural design psychology and trends. Previously, Gorst served as Vice President and Chief Creative Officer for E-Media Publishing, Ltd. and as an Internet content developer for Citibank and other Long Island based corporations.