The ROI of Web Standards
July 31, 2004 at 11:03 AM
Following Doug Bowman's post on Throwing Tables Out the Window Richard Rutter has taken to task Real life savings through Web standards. This is very reminiscent of Keith Robinson's post on Web Standards ROI this last June. Shirley Kaiser also voiced in with her comments recently. Doug followed up his post with a post on Projected Savings. For the record, I never had any complaints about Doug's original post. I think Shirley said it best in her post. It really isn't as easy to do as it seems when your client is a larger multinational company who has hundreds of different web sites all using outdated web design techniques. In short, politics are at play. Finding the right person to talk to and getting their buy-in may be a bit more difficult. Why can't we show ROI on something like that? It is because it has never been done before.
Maybe I can go back to work for Boeing (as lots of folks do) and give this a shot! ;) Wait, now that I think about it...we're talking Boeing...Maybe I'll just stay where I am at for now.
Actually, we are talking about another Seattle area company ;)
Another reason to consider is that most large corporate websites are using content management systems, either home grown or from a third party, so the problem is more complex than it seems. Pages can be generated from multiple systems and many are just starting to move these back end systems to a MVC architecture, so to alter the way pages are designed (moving away from frames for example) takes time, planning and thinking ahead about how to avoid painting oneself in a corner for the next go around. It will happen over time, but not until it is absolutely necessary and not until the folks upstairs see some significant benefits from doing so, which I think is starting to happen now.
Ken, good points. CMSs and politics are but two of the many issues that surround the idea of larger corporate adoption of web standards. Another issue is the issue of training and the size of the corporation. Take for example Microsoft or Intel. Think about how many web designers, web developers, web programmers and web content people they have that would have to be trained. I am not being pessimistic here, it is possible to train them to build their materials with web standards but it isn't the most graceful transition to happen in this regard (speaking from my own experience).
Nick -- MS, Boeing...same diff. ;)
Kind of like how Microsoft an Apple are the same thing right? ;) In all seriousness, this isn't about a specific company. This is about larger corprations and their adoptions of web standards.