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Empowering Individual Departments

Web technology is being widely used to support the business activities of individual departments. In doing so, there is a significant tension between departments and corporate IS. The individual departments want to get solutions up quickly and want the solutions to quickly morph to the changing business requirements. The IS departments have limited staffing and cannot move at the “speed of business”.

There are two issues when bringing up a departmental web site:

  1. The content on the site and the functionality of the site must efficiently support the objectives of the department.

  2. The content and functionality must be protected from inappropriate use.

New web publishing tools are making it possible for non-specialists (e.g. departmental employees) to generate web sites with the appropriate content and functionality. Furthermore, these tools make it possible to efficiently evolve the web site to match the changing needs of the department.

The WSA can help assure that the web sites are being used only by the appropriate people by providing access control to departmental web sites. The WSA was designed to be installed and owned by non-specialist, which makes it practical for the departmental employees to control.

The WSA can be installed in minutes by anyone with sufficient skills to install a PC. The WSA is transparent to the network, so there is no need to obtain an IP address, modify the routers, or reconfigure network intrusion detection systems. In many ways this makes the WSA transparent to the IS department.

The WSA administration requires no specialized training. Therefore, the departmental employees who know the needs of the business better than anyone, can set up access control rules and can locally administer who can and cannot user the web site.

The WSA is an important tool for distributing the responsibilities and authority for departmental web sites to those best suited to run the business – the department employees.

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