This is the time for companies to institutionalize (create, codify, train, hold accountable) smart and sound digital policies and practices in order to reduce digital risk and capitalize on the opportunities.
In the past 10 days, the EU has passed a massive copyright reform that has far-reaching implications for the internet, Facebook has embraced regulation, Australia has criminalized certain social media behavior, and the UK is contemplating holding accountable any company that allows users to share or discover user generated content or interact with each other online. It feels as if we are on the cusp of having to pay dues for not governing ourselves and online behavior over the last twenty years.
This is the time for companies to institutionalize (create, codify, train, hold accountable) smart and sound digital policies and practices. Without them, businesses will continue to create opportunities for dangerous online behavior and increase risk to the organization as well as the collective online community. But consider for a moment, what could happen if enterprises all started to define digital policy for their digital operations, and instead of producing risk, were to reduce it and capitalize on the opportunities that digital brings?
Risk mitigation isn’t the only driver of digital policies. When thoughtfully developed and implemented, digital policies can deliver benefits beyond protecting your business from risk:
- Identifying new opportunities for engaging with your markets—and even creating new ones
- The ability to engage your customers wherever they are (YouTube, Instagram, etc.)
- Creating competitive advantage by setting a digital standard that competitors can’t match
- Making sure that your company’s efforts in the digital realm are aligned with your strategic business goals
- Eliminating the repetitive work that occurs when employees constantly have to ask for permission or guidance (which also frees them to focus their efforts on being more creative)
- Shortening approval cycles
As you continue to see the daily headlines of coming regulations to address bad behavior, consider how you and your organization can define digital policy and realize the benefits it has to offer. Beyond risk, you will drive the business bottom line.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao