Today, e-business has become everyone's business. The Web is no longer an experiment, but a mainstream business strategy being leveraged for nearly every market-facing operation in most successful organizations. E- business initiatives require the same masterful management that sound business (no "e") demands in order to succeed. Just as in the offline world, strategic planning and tight execution are needed to achieve online business objectives. The single biggest obstacle preventing most companies from gaining a true payback from their e-business programs is the lack of closed-loop analysis to understand if, where, for whom and how Web programs are performing. Meaningful online analysis is based upon an understanding of strategy and an execution plan that enables measurement of key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs are different for nearly every e-business program, just as success metrics vary for offline business processes.
Lack of a universal, sharply defined, KPI-driven e-business measurement approach has sent many business and IT managers into a tailspin. While we've seen many early attempts to engage success metrics for the Web, many of these techniques were too rudimentary to provide much value or depth, let alone show return on investment (ROI). A new methodology is fast emerging that applies KPI business principles to Web-based analysis: e-business performance management (eBPM).
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