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FROM Digital Innovation Series: Digital Governance

(upbeat music) – Hi, I’m Howard Tiersky,
CEO of Moving Interactive, here at the Moving Interactive
Digital Innovation Center in New York City. In today’s installment of our
Digital Innovation Series, we’re gonna talk about digital governance. How large enterprises
can find the right way to coordinate digital efforts
across a wide range of groups. Speed is one of the
most essential elements of success in the digital world. The technology is changing rapidly, your competitors are moving rapidly, your customers’ needs and
expectations are changing rapidly, and because speed is so essential, if you are a company of
any significant size, you need multiple teams working
on different initiatives all at the same time. Perhaps a great number of different teams. Some internal and some external. And yet, all that autonomy can create problems and conflicts. I’ll talk about three main
of those conflicts today. The first one: Conflict
of customer experience. If the same customers
are hit with a variety of different websites
and mobile applications that all look different, require different unique logins, perhaps overlap, don’t talk to each other, those customers are likely to
be unimpressed at the least and potentially very frustrated. We call this conflict
Enterprise versus Customer. The second conflict:
Unproductive competition, or Team versus Team conflict. Even if teams are given total autonomy, there are some resources which are fixed. These include space on your homepage, the ability to email your customer list. If many different groups are constantly blasting your list independently, you aren’t going to be
able to maintain that list for very long. Customers will opt out. Other fixed resources
include domain names, search engine marketing terms. Can you imagine multiple
groups within your company unknowingly bidding against
each other on Google for the same branded terms? Believe me, it happens a lot. Conflict number three: Technology mess. If every group within the company makes different technology choices, you’re likely to suboptimize
your capital investments at best, and worst, have
difficulty maintaining the skills to support such a diverse
array of technologies. It’s expensive and difficult to do well. We call this Team versus Enterprise. Because individual teams often prefer the freedom to choose the technologies that works best for
their individual needs, but it creates, as I said,
a mess for the enterprises. And aside from those three
there are other problems with lack of governance
including compliance risk, branding problems, security breaches, inconsistent metrics, and others. So we need to enable speed but with some avoidance
of these conflicts. And that’s where governance comes in. We’ll talk about how to do that, but first let me give you a little analogy of another example where
governance supports speed. Actually, one place to look
for models of governance is government. What’s great is that government
gives us plenty of examples of both good and bad ways to govern. But let’s take a look at one that is actually pretty helpful. Motor vehicle traffic. We all have places we want to get to, and we want to jump in our cars and get there as fast as possible. And at the same time,
we don’t want conflict. We don’t want to crash into other cars. Not only would this be painful, but it would slow us down. And so we have a set of rules, which we all know and agree to follow that enables us to go fast, focus primarily on our own destination, but also be aware of the rules
and other traffic around us. Governance, in that case,
it’s not about total control. Traffic rules don’t tell you where to go. They don’t tell you what route
to take or when to travel. They simply create
boundaries to stay within. So defining rules is the
first step of governance. Second, we have enforcement. So continuing with our
motor vehicle analogy. I’ll be perfectly honest and
say that if I didn’t know that there would sometimes be a cop hiding behind a tree with a radar gun, I’d probably drive well
over the speed limit, and so would a lot of
other people, no doubt, and before long the rules
would have no meaning, because they would be largely disregarded. So some form of enforcement is essential for
governance to really work. And third we have what I call
support for the law abiding. In the world of traffic this
includes having paved roads, lights, painted lines, stop
sites, stop lights, et cetera. Okay, so I’m guessing no
matter what your politics about government may be, we could probably agree
that this is an area where government is pretty
helpful in all those rules, and the enforcement of those rules will really allow us all
to get to our destinations much faster and more
reliably that otherwise. So let’s go back through these
three aspects of governance in the context of the digital world. What rules do we need to
create in the digital space, and how do we do that? Well, each company and
situation is different, but there are three broad
categories of rules. That those that govern user experience, such as branding, navigation, and URL standards, for example, those that govern fundamentally
technical matters, such as platforms,
security, even things like commenting and storing code, and rules that govern business processes, such as legal compliance,
privacy policies, email rules, site metrics, et cetera. Now you can use those as a starting point to define the categories that make sense for your enterprise. There’s also a more complete list of rules and rule categories
available on our website. Now those are some categories
to consider in your enterprise when creating governance models, but bear in mind, more governance
is not necessarily better. Here’s a fundamental rule. Governance should only be put in place for a reason that is clearly understood and ideally well-communicated. And its scope should only
be as broad as its benefit. For example, in some highly
regulated industries, like financial services
and pharmaceuticals, careful business process
governance over content might be essential. In other industries, it may be unnecessary and a barrier to speed. In order for your rules to be of value, there must be some form of enforcement. There are two parts to enforcements: Monitoring and consequences. You need to determine
what the best methods for each might be in your case. And in fact, different categories of rules might need to be monitored differently. For example, some rules might be monitored at the procurement level. So if a group tries to
purchase noncompliant software, there is a checkpoint. Some companies appoint a brand czar who reviews all branded material for compliance with
corporate identity rules. Now consequences in a
corporate environment have to work a little differently than in traditional government,
as we probably can’t throw noncompliant project teams in jail. In fact, the first type of
consequence that’s good to define are positive consequences for compliance. But on the stick side of the equation, one key tactic is to have
some kind of exceptions report that gets escalated to someone
senior in the organization who can apply pressure
on those who seem to be disregarding the governance rules. Now the last of these three steps we said was supporting the law abiding. Each rule that is created needs an associated set of documentation that helps teams to understand one, why that rule was created, two, how to comply, and three, how to get help or request an exception when appropriate. Okay, this is a deep
topic and we could go on, but for now I’ll wrap it
up with this invitation. If you have further questions
or would like a consultation on how to make these practices successful within your organization, reach out to us. at [email protected] Or post a question on any of
our social media locations or on our website. And I invite you as well to
come to to sign up to receive future installments in our Digital Innovation Series and participate in our
community of digital innovators. With that, this is Howard Tiersky, CEO of Moving Interactive, coming to you from our
Digital Innovation Center in New York City, wishing you tremendous success with all your digital initiatives. (upbeat music)

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