Understanding digital ecosystems is crucial to your ability to succeed in digital and online environments and how you can go about achieving an effective management of your company’s digital ecosystems.

Digital Governance: Digital governance is a set of policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes designed to guide, direct, and control how content management, digital asset management, and eCommerce systems are used to satisfy business objectives.

After providing this useful definition, the introduction ensures the reader of the importance digital governance practices have in regards to both your ROI and general engagement on the web. There is a call to action about the responsibility of the company to support their IT staff by adopting effective digital governance practices.

The Value of a Digital Governance Strategy

By educating business and IT organizations of the potential pitfalls of a poor governance strategy. Ultimately, this discussion comes down to a demonstration of how a poor strategy leads to brand inconsistencies across platforms and an unfocused marketing strategy.

Three primary benefits of an effective governance strategy are presented in this section. Firstly, your company will be able to have a quicker ability to communicate with the market. Secondly, your brand will gain a more thorough consistency across the internet. Finally, your operational efficiency for both your workforce and your IT staff will receive a massive boost.

Choosing a Digital Governance Model That’s Right For You

Governance is never a “one-size-fits-all” approach, so it is important that you take into account both industry-specific, and company specific concerns before beginning the implementation of a strategy. Ultimately, you will want to both identify and engage with the primary stakeholders involved with your strategy: channel partners, internal teams, customers, and any others that are impacted by the digital governance strategy.

Five Models of Digital Governance

Decentralized: This approach is driven by policies and guidelines, and is not run by a single owner or organization.

Centralized: Run by a single owner, department or organization, in a highly controlled and bureaucratic manner.

Collaborative: Takes a layered approach where the governance strategy is owned by an executive champion, and is then regulated by a board of members. When being implemented this strategy takes decentralized content ownership and puts it onto a centralized platform.

Hierarchical: While middle management owns the content production and deployment aspects of this strategy, key important decisions and approvals ultimately fall under the discretion of power positions at the top of the hierarchy.

Flat: Much different than other approaches, a “flat” model allows for individual stakeholders to make content decisions. Doing so enables quick responses that allow content to change and adapt at a fast pace.

Envisioning the Right Governance Model

EKi-Digital recommends going with a model that will allow your company to “enable efficient content creation and management, brand consistency, and scaling of high quality, high-performance digital properties worldwide.”

To help you understand your company’s current state/needs, EKi-Digital lays out an ideal list of goals that are useful to consider when deciding on a model.

• Supporting scalability
• Reducing IT operation costs
• Achieving branding consistency
• Supporting one unified platform
• Minimizing legal and compliance risks
• Realizing data driven optimizations
• Allowing both business owners and content authors tools for updating content in an intuitive and quick manner

Executing Digital Governance at the Enterprise Level

While the rich information in this section requires its own full read, you can expect to be presented with a three-step strategy to effectively executing digital governance at the enterprise level. These three steps include “The Process,” “The Challenge,” and “The Result.”

Many qualities and assets associated with these steps are discussed in tight details, but to wet your appetite, here is a shortlist of some of the things discussed:

• Executive Oversight
• WCM Steering Committees
• Content Strategy Committees
• Standards and Guidelines
• Use Cases and Workflows
• Implementation and Maintenance

Implementing Your Digital Governance Model

After all of these tough steps are completed, you will be left with actually implementing your well thought out digital governance model. To help you with this step, we have provided a useful guide list that provides some useful steps. In this section, these lists are broken into two steps, “Steps to Get Started,” and “Staying the Course.”:

Steps to Get Started:

• Identify and assemble a panel that represents the various important players in your practice.
• Use this panel to agree on visions for the brand.
• Establish the various tools, processes, and protocols that will be implemented to reach your digital governance goals and environment.
• Assign specific and appropriate goals and responsibilities to different members and subgroups of the panel you have constructed.

Staying the Course:

Here is a list of steps that should be held at the panel meetings to ensure “alignment on decision-making as natural evolution occurs.”

• Assess any new needs, and determine how to address them.
• Determine if there are opportunities to leverage reusable content.
• Discuss how new regulatory and legislative requirements should be addressed and handled.
• Keep up to date on any inefficiency with current practices, or notable improvements that have occurred since the last meeting.

EKI-Digital has worked with businesses of all sizes, and in various industries to help them benefit by designing, and deploying effective governance models for the digital ecosystem, to improve how their businesses run, grow and transform. If you would like to learn more about our approach please contact us at info@eki-digital.com.