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:
The content on the site and the functionality of the site must
efficiently support the objectives of the department.
The content and functionality must be protected from inappropriate
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 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.