Assessing the Cost of World Wide Web Investments

July 16, 1997
Contact: Ben Meyers
(518) 442-3892

Albany, NY - Organizations are now vying for customers through their presence on the Internet's World Wide Web. Because the technology is so new, and the entry cost of creating a modest Web site is attractively low, many of these Web sites are created quickly, without a clear idea of the expected benefits or costs.

New York State's Center for Technology in Government has just produced a suite of tools that can help organizations make a better estimate of what they can expect when they undertake the development of a Web service. "A Cost Performance Model for Assessing World Wide Web Investments" by Peter A. Bloniarz and Kai R. Larsen [Internet Services Testbed CTG.ISG-4] can help organizations develop a project plan that delivers results at a cost they can afford. It includes a written guide to making such assessments, and an electronic spreadsheet for creating a cost assessment. 

The guide leads the reader through a structured process toward a better understanding of the cost and performance factors involved in creating a Web service, and in maintaining an effective presence on the World Wide Web. It addresses many of the factors relevant to creating an effective Web presence, including defining service goals, evaluating infrastructure needs, and estimating the human resources required to sustain the effort. By applying the tools, the reader should develop a new and valuable perspective on the process of developing a useful Web service. 

The model contains concrete instructions to help the Web development team plan for varying levels of service that will give the most benefits for the cost invested. The guide provides the reader with sample analyses based on actual Web projects.

The mission of the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany is to foster public sector innovation, enhance capability, generate public value, and support good governance. We carry out this mission through applied research, knowledge sharing, and collaboration at the intersection of policy, management, and technology.