Digital Governance


Governance is a rapidly growing area of interest. Although social media is driving most of this discussion, broader digital initiatives are just as important. Without governance across all digital initiatives, companies will fail to achieve the most critical objectives facing them: rapid and better innovation, re-inventing customer relationships, and operating dexterity. Because of these stakes, digital governance must have teeth. Companies cannot let their efforts remain fragmented and must address what some at Forrester have called “Distributed Chaos”. Personalization is just a pipe dream if data cannot be lifted from silos to create a comprehensive view of the customer. Today, the Marketing and Communication function is a common place to find some element of digital governance, and some companies may elect to leave it there. However, the current digital expansion is cross functional and much broader than Marketing and Communication. 

The eventual organizational home for the governance function is still open to debate, but some trends are emerging. New executive titles have appeared over the past year, including V.P. Voice of the Customer and Customer Experience Executive. It could be that these new roles take on the broader governance responsibility. But even then, digital spans multiple stakeholders and involves the community (Employees, Partners, Customers, Citizens, Shareholders, Other) in a collaborative relationship with the enterprise. Therefore, is a traditional customer facing role the right place for governance? Another more likely scenario is a cross-functional Executive Steering Committee with a mandate to manage digital initiatives towards the strategic agenda of the business. Regardless of where the leadership comes from, the eventual model is becoming clear. A Digital Center of Excellence (COE) forms the hub in a traditional hub-and-spoke model. High level responsibilities would include: 

  • High level strategy and planning
  • Coordinating digital business efforts
  • Innovation and pilots
  • Standards and best practices
  • Policies and guidelines
  • Frameworks, models, processes
  • Governance
  • Training programs
  • Research
  • Measurement
  • Infrastructure and vendor Selection

This Video featuring Mia Dand describes the COE approach adopted by HP. What governance best practices have you come across?

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