The author of “Do It on the Web” ( JofA, Mar.01, page 43) is absolutely correct. Building your own Web site with off-the-shelf software is so simple that people with little or no system development experience can do it—and that can lead to disastrous results.
As a CPA and certified information systems auditor, I am convinced that Web development efforts are best left to experienced information technology professionals. These people are trained in structured system development methodologies and understand the importance of documenting their work to facilitate future maintenance.
These professionals also recognize myriad threats to the integrity, confidentiality and availability of your data once they are accessible from the Internet. To the extent they cannot address these threats, they most likely will be savvy enough to seek guidance from an experienced security professional.
I am not saying that novices have no role in Web development. I firmly believe they can build Intranets to share information within organizational boundaries. Straying outside those boundaries, though, can be lethal to those people who are not properly trained.
Christopher P. Buse, CPA
Editors’ note: We wholeheartedly agree. In fact, the article says: …It’s important to get involved in such a process—not that we’re suggesting you should be a Web site builder—because it will give you insights into the technology. After all, it’s a technology that is sweeping the world of business.