James Maconochie

White Elephants on the Web

Web Site Renewal - White ElephantsI have experienced directly the baggage that can be associated with an organization’s website, and the resulting organizational inertia to change.  How many of you have either joined a new organization, or experienced someone new coming into your organization, and when you (or they) have inquired about making updates/improvements to the organization’s website you are met with eye rolling and a less than enthusiastic response?

Web Site Renewal - White ElephantsI have experienced directly the baggage that can be associated with an organization’s website, and the resulting organizational inertia to change.  How many of you have either joined a new organization, or experienced someone new coming into your organization, and when you (or they) have inquired about making updates/improvements to the organization’s website you are met with eye rolling and a less than enthusiastic response?

We have all heard a variety of justifications for living with the website status quo; from cost, time, resources, expertise, competing priorities, the need to deal with those guys in IT (sorry IT guys, but I suspect this won’t be the first time you have heard this), we don’t use it for sales, etc.  However, I would argue that whether you are in the public or private sector, the importance of your digital strategy (website, social, search, mobile) and its ability to positively impact your operations is very significant today, and will become increasingly important moving forward.   Continuing to ignore this reality will not only give your competitors an unnecessary advantage, but over time this head-in-the-sand mentality will have increasingly negative consequences. 

Like it or not, your website is what a majority of people interested in your organization will use first to form their impression of your organization, whether they are potential customers, investors, employees, donors, or partners.  Like it or not, your website can impact existing customers’ feelings/perception about your organization, its health, vitality and future. 

The term white elephant can be used to describe something that is without use or value, and is often times a subject that that is not spoken about, like the name Voldermort in Harry Potter, or Macbeth (the Scottish play) in the theatre business. 

If the definition of this term and the thrust of this article sound familiar, I would urge you to take action now.  You have never had more or better access to cost-effective technologies and professional services that can help ensure that your website does not become just another white elephant on the web. 

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