The Great Technical Disconnect
Got a message from a client today. Well, it wasn't actually from my client, it was from someone else in his office who wanted to chat about the 'platform the website is built on.' Now, bear in mind, I've been working with these people since… 1999? 2000? I'm not sure exactly, but it's been a longggg time in Internet years.
Turns out the Marketing Director doesn't really like the website (which one, I'm not sure, we've done four for them). She figures she can handle managing the website, after all it's a part of company communications and why does she need some geeky tech guy?
Well, let's see… it's an ecommerce site that ties directly into their backend warehouse management. They host their own servers so any changes are going to involve the geeky tech guy. They have FOUR websites, all of which share a database backend for content management. Oh, and they have someone in the company who is assigned to handling this, so just common business sense says to start there before calling the vendor.
But this is what I struggle with every single day. The 'web' isn't just some pretty pictures on a computer. There are a whole slew of infrastructure issues that, honestly, might be a little more complicated than, 'I think the site looks a little dated.'
Yes, the site might look a little dated, and I'm first in line to tell clients that they can't have something that just functions but doesn't fulfill the promise of the brand. The problem is that corporate communications and corporate infrastructure people NEVER TALK and here they are sitting on the same stool.
I want to make some kind of proclamation saying, 'This Must Stop Now.' But I know that this isn't new -- operations and marketing have never talked, and new technologies are just amplifying the disconnect.
However, I do think that the time has come for a new Officer in the corporate structure. A Chief Interactive Officer who bridges marketing and technology, forms a plan that satisfies both, and keeps that plan on track.
Oh, and while I'm at it I want a pony.