Online shopping and e-commerce have become more important over the past couple of years. According to the Office for National Statistics, internet sales accounted for 27.1% of all retail activity in the UK at the start of 2022.
In the first four months of the pandemic, more than 85,000 businesses set up new online stores or joined e-commerce platforms in the UK, based on research from Growth Intelligence. Consumers have been pushed towards e-commerce, which has increased from 81% to 95% in Europe according to a 2020 McKinsey survey.
All of this activity has led to more companies creating and launching sites to interact with their customers. However, these digital experiences need to be kept up to date over time, which can be more difficult than getting started in the first place.
For example, website updates involve both technical requirements and the release of new content. Security updates, changes to site plugins, and new digital services would all require support from developers and the IT team, while changing brand assets or adding content additional could fall under the competence of the marketing team. However, all these changes will occur at the same time, which will complicate the process.
WebOps and Collaboration
The biggest challenge with web operations management is the number of potential stakeholders involved. In addition to the developers responsible for creating any code that runs these digital services on the site, there are IT operations personnel responsible for running the relevant systems. There’s the marketing team, responsible for the site’s content and assets, and there’s the brand team, which handles design and delivery.
Each of these roles will contribute to the success of a site over time and be responsible for the business purposes for which the site is used. However, most of the time these teams will work in their own silos rather than together.
Website Operations – or WebOps – is about breaking down the boundaries that exist around website management. WebOps establishes common processes and goals so that marketing, developers, and IT operations staff work more efficiently. It is based on DevOps principles and has more collaboration, rather than stakeholders working towards their goals in separate silos. WebOps works by putting all website project work in the context of this larger business goal.
This may involve overcoming some of the preconceptions teams have about each other. For example, marketing departments today are driven by technology rather than just advertising.
Rather than solely dealing with creative work like branding and positioning, marketing teams today must create and track customer journeys, deploy personalization tools, and automate customer relationships. These activities rely on online interactions to track engagement and preferences, which then inform unique next steps in a customer’s journey with the brand.
Similarly, content marketing activities involve deploying the right assets to customers based on their browsing habits and preferences using automation.
On the IT and software side, solving potential problems with customer actions also requires creativity. New launches for the company will rely on the integration of software and creative assets into new and innovative experiences that perform well and are available under stress.
Delivering these types of projects effectively involves planning ahead and understanding the entire team’s workload, rather than focusing solely on specific individuals or departments. All of these tasks involve processes and deadlines, which can be shared and made more visible to everyone.
This visibility can make a big difference for WebOps teams because it helps everyone understand their responsibilities and priorities in context. For example, it may be too easy to assume that tasks are simple or can be completed in unrealistic time frames.
For example, marketing may assume that updating a website is like accepting an update to an application on their computer, while IT operations teams may think that brand updates are simply about new logos. The work required on both the IT side and the marketing side is often more involved and more complex than one might think.
All parties have more in common than they realize. WebOps approaches can help define the goals that all stakeholders have around website developments. This involves looking at the overall business goals of the organization and then looking at how each team contributes to those goals.
For example, IT teams will see how brand updates can make a difference to business performance and customer acquisition goals, while marketing will find out exactly how much work is needed to update. update all sites that a company can operate for security.
Facilitate the distribution of content
This recognition of what is really happening between teams or departments is an essential element for more collaboration. Once teams understand the pressures they face in achieving an overall goal, it’s easier to make changes so everyone is pulling in the same direction. It makes working around website projects easier for everyone.
Similarly, you can break down some of the silos that exist around how sites are implemented and maintained. Rather than relying on developers to manage content updates, you can decouple your content management system (CMS) from web front-end systems. This means marketing teams can launch new content and iterate on their campaigns whenever they are ready. This agility is what drives results, as it enables marketers to react quickly to market opportunities and deliver customer experiences that resonate.
Using headless content management systems alongside your website platform like Drupal or WordPress means marketers can implement their updates faster, rather than having to break into developer workflows to get changes. It can also make it easier for them to review the effect those content changes might have, rather than relying on going back and forth between different teams, which slows down the whole process.
The goal of WebOps
WebOps is about breaking down the barriers between teams that exist around website development. Rather than compartmentalising teams and their goals, WebOps ensures that everyone involved understands what their work is building towards. It presents a unified approach to website management across technical, brand, and experience metrics.
This understanding is key to meeting customer demands for a better digital experience.
Business websites are the digital gateway for more businesses than ever before, so simplifying the process of hosting, updating, and managing these sites is essential. With WebOps, all companies can improve their internal processes and get results faster.