Internet services (building web sites and applications) used to be a black box type of service, the client requested a solution, a web company developed one, and then client relied on the service provider for all related work.
Times have changed.
- Web sites are now perceived as vital communications connections. Clients want the content to be current, and fresh, to engage site visitors. This requires frequent updages and many clients want to manage their content themselves. This improves the response time and reduces the cost. It also requires a mechanism to allow them to maintain the content - usually a blog or content management system. Impact: web companies must be able to integrate designs with applications instead of building standalone pages and sites.
- Everyone knows more about the web than before. They know many powerful software packages are available at no cost. They know a good team can make changes quickly. Impact: Expectations are higher, and response time is expected to be lower.
- Web technology has exploded in every direction. Sites must be faster, more attractive, and more sophisiticated than before. Impact: Web professionals must continue learning and pushing the envelope at every opportunity. Web companies must hire the very best people they can afford.
- Malicious netizens are a constant threat. Impact: Web companies must comply with all the appropriate rules and regulations to protect site visitors, and their servers. Everything, from server configuration, web application firewalls, HTTPS/SSL/SSH/SFTP access must be carefully considered. Application security issues must be identified and addressed quickly.
- Most companies already have a web site. Impact: There may be a significant investment in content and code. Protecting the investment, while reengineering the system in a cost effective manner may be difficult.
- Many clients are facing difficult financial choices. The impact of a web site can be difficult to estimate in terms of revenue. Impact: A key opportunity for web companies is providing measurable benefits for clients. Although it may be difficult to illustrate revenue impacts, clear reduction in service costs should be offered. This requires that the web company be able to deliver services in a very streamlined manner.
- Clients need to know what makes a web company a good fit for their project. Most are more concerned with what they want done, than work a company did for others. Impact: Displaying a portfolio of work done is less valuable than providing an interactive guide to assist a client in understanding the types of services (and possibly the costs) they need.