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WHO’S IN CHARGE?

Nothing ensures consistency across locales more than managing them all from one location, yet many companies have numerous locations and more than one web team. For multinational companies, the struggle between home offices and foreign offices springs eternal. Home offices want more control, and foreign offices want more independence. This struggle becomes readily apparent when applied to web globalization. Will each localized site be managed by an in-country office, by headquarters, or by a combination of both? If headquarters retains all control, there’s a risk that it will miss out on opportunities that only the in-country offices can see. If local offices aren’t empowered to capitalize on these opportunities, sales are lost. If local offices are empowered, however, there’s the risk that the localized sites will be haphazardly maintained or not maintained at all. And there is the ongoing issue of delivering a global message, something that needs to be managed centrally.

Centralized Versus Decentralized Management

The management model you choose should reflect your company’s organizational structure and management style. A decentralized company, with independent international offices, should have little trouble managing a decentralized web site. Nor should the offices have trouble keeping content current and sufficiently localized because they more than likely manage their own budgets and marketing promotions. A centrally managed company, however, will probably have better luck managing its many web sites centrally; even if it has international offices, those offices might not have the budgetary freedom or the skilled personnel to effectively manage a local web site.


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