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Using XML for Web Site Management: An Executive Briefing on streamlining workflow, reducing costs, and enhancing organizational value

Assessing the Value

Here are some key factors to consider when determining whether Web site management practices provide a good return on time, money, and resources invested:
  • Accuracy of information.
    • Are mechanisms in place to guarantee that all information on the site is correct?
    • Can inaccurate information be identified and removed or corrected efficiently?
  • Consistency of message.
    • Does the Web site information conform to similar information in other formats, such as printed materials and presentations?
    • Do the Web pages present a consistent image and can the look and feel of the site be easily maintained?
  • Timeliness of updates and new postings to the Web.
    • Does information appear when, where, and how it should appear?
    • Is some information not making it to the Web simply because it takes too long?
  • Integrity and ownership of content.
    • Do the words and images – the information – on the Web site reside in multiple organizational locations and multiple formats and are they uniform throughout locations?
    • Is the information in an open, accessible, non-proprietary format that will be usable in the future regardless of technological changes?
  • Business processes involved in getting information to the Web.
    • Are they formalized and fully understood by everyone involved?
    • Do they contain redundant, low-value tasks?
    • Are they structured solely or mostly to work around shortcomings of the technology?
  • Strategic positioning for now and the future.
    • Does the Web site meet the current Section 508 accessibility guidelines for persons with disabilities and can it be easily kept in conformance with new policies and mandates?
    • Does the technical infrastructure accommodate the mobile devices, security, enterprise integration, and cross-organizational collaboration that characterize the Web of today and tomorrow.
A Web site based on XML addresses these factors at a lower cost with higher long-term value as compared to traditional HTML-based sites or proprietary content management systems. Figure 5 illustrates CTG’s own ROI (return on investment) in converting its Web site from an HTML to an XML basis.

Figure 5. Return on Investment for CTG in Converting to an XML-based Web site.
Figure 5. Return on Investment for CTG in Converting to an XML-based Web site.

Non-XML Based Web Site.
CTG found that continuing to maintain its Web site with existing HTML-based technology would squeeze out opportunities for new technical projects as Web staff would be forced to devote increasing amounts of time to operational maintenance. This was not a viable strategy for future success.

Figure 6. Return on Investment for CTG in Converting to an XML-based Web site.

XML Based Web Site.
By converting to an XML-based technology for its Web site, CTG saw the prospects for new development opportunities enhanced dramatically. As routine maintenance tasks were streamlined and automated, operational activity leveled off as a small percentage of overall time. Productivity increased while budgets remained steady.