Should your company's IT department be in charge of your website? Well...it depends. Because there are many different types of websites out there we can't make blank statements of yes or no for all of them. However, with the bulk of business website's involving marketing, e-commerce, information and generally driven towards acquiring business from either new or existing customers we're going to focus on those types of websites for the purposes of this article.
With that in mind, I present to you another question. Would you let a fleet vehicle manager be in charge of the branding and messaging that is on the side of those vehicles? I would hope you would say "no". The same goes with your corporate website.
A corporate website is very hard to define exactly what it is in the grand scope of business. Most other business tools serve a very specific function such as the desk you sit at gives you an area of where you can work on tasks or the brochure you drop off at a client's office gives them the information they may need to make a purchasing decision. But a website can wear many hats, such as being a sales tool for sales people out in the field (thus making it outbound marketing) or it can help make the phone ring from new customers finding the website via search engines (thus making it inbound marketing). But the main point is that a corporate website has still one goal - reach customers and give them information.
Sure a website involves computers - you can't look at anything on the web without a computer (yes your phone is a computer too). And yes IT department's job involves computers. So naturally the two are synonymous, right? Wrong. That's like saying the guy who changes your oil can sell you auto insurance because they both do something with cars.
Only a marketer/marketing department should be in charge of a company's website. Even if they know NOTHING about coding or HTML or how the internet works (your IT guy may not really know either...). A marketing expert knows how to do one thing more than anyone else in your company - deliver information to customers, which if you recall is the point of your website. This is not something IT is educated in or prepared to manage. In fact, ask your IT manager if he/she ever enrolled in a marketing related class while studying in their degree.
Should IT be involved in your company's website? Absolutely. Imagine this...you have a website that requires new data to be input (or even output) by a member of your staff (be it images, content, customer order information, etc....). This requires them to use a computer. It also requires some knowledge of how the system works. That is IT's job. Making sure that either the tools of the company work with the company's technology (i.e. computers and network) or the company's technology is up to par with the tools of the company.
Who's job is the company website?
Building, maintaining, expanding, and managing a corporate website is a the job of the marketing department with counsel from the IT department for a website who's primary job is to deliver information to a customer to help with a purchasing decision. By listening to your marketing department in their needs and building a website based off of those needs (and thus your customer's needs) your company is sure to have success in your online marketing efforts.