In watching the video “Did you know 4.0” the speed with which change has occurred and is occurring becomes very apparent.

The five examples of ‘shifts’ that I saw on this video were:

  1. Traditional advertising revenue is down, with people being willing to pay for advertisement free programming
  2. Print news is in decline whilst online news reader use is on the rise
  3. Mobile device use is, essentially, ubiquitous – however people are still wary of making purchases on mobile phones
  4. People are engaging more with internet technologies and withdrawing from traditional services
  5. With all of this internet activity, malware and spam are on the rise.

Information policy needs to address these ‘shifts’ to ensure safety on the internet and survival of product. This video was made nine years after the ‘dot com crash’ and despite all the predictions of the internet being dead (this article gives a good history), it is in fact still thriving, still growing and still turning profits. And this is where the need for information policy comes in. An information policy gives direction: It gives everyone, including the organisation, boundaries and expectations, it helps you to know where you are going.

A clear information policy lets organisational internet users know what they can and cannot do: for example in my workplace (a multi-national steel manufacturer) all users of company computers are aware that the company filters the internet and allows only some people “full” internet access (which is still subject to the filtering tool). The reason for this filtering is to protect the company from viruses, malware, and even lawsuits (particularly with regard to harassment and discrimination). Many of us at work would really like to access Facebook during lunch, but we also accept that there is a reason for the restriction (not least of which is that Facebook has nothing to do with any of our jobs!).

I don’t see that there is any going back for the web, so meeting customers where they are at, i.e. the web, strengthens your organisational connection with them and having an information policy further strengthens that connection by qualifying the boundaries and stating the expectations of all users of an organisations information and information architecture.

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