Corporate culture affects what types of risk a company is willing to accept. A successful content strategy is compatible with the organization’s risk culture. Long-time employees can often identify approaches that will not be successful, even though they may not be able to articulate the exact problem. To understand a company’s risk culture, consider the following:
- What is the company DNA? How long has the company been in business? How many offices? How many employees? A company with a history of acquisitions operates differently than a company with a history of organic growth. A company that has 90 percent of its employees concentrated in the United States looks at the world differently than a company with 30 percent of operations in Asia, 30 percent in Europe, and 30 percent in the Americas. Some multinational companies are still distinctly a product of their home culture.
- What does the company produce? What is the risk of using company products? Financial services companies tend to be risk-averse and security-conscious in their content strategy. Game companies are often small and entrepreneurial—their priority is to be fun and cutting edge. Medical device makers are extremely concerned with product quality and health privacy issues. Heavy machinery producers worry about safe operation and usage of their products.
The risk priorities vary depending on the industry and the individual organization. Assess your organization to determine which risk factors are acceptable and which are not:
- Cutting-edge technology. Is the organization an early adopter or a laggard in implementing new technology? Where do the various systems being considered fall on this curve?
- Open source software. Is the organization dedicated to using open source software, completely opposed to it, or somewhere in the middle?
- Cloud computing policies. What is the organizational stance on cloud computing? If your organization has a policy of not allowing externally hosted content, that rules out cloud-based systems unless you can change the policy (which is risky and highly unlikely to succeed).
- Audit trail. How important is the ability to audit content changes? Is the organization in a regulated industry? (Note that this may vary by country.)
- Change resistance. Are employees and management generally willing to try out new systems, or are they change resistant? Have other projects failed because of change resistance?
- Globalization. How concerned is the organization about supporting global markets?
- Quality. How concerned is the organization about content quality?
- Market positioning. What is the product market positioning? Does the company sell low-cost products or premium products? Does the content strategy support the market positioning?