Friday, May 26, 2006

Where Do the Benefits of Ajax Come From?

Where Do the Benefits of Ajax Come From?
Measuring the Benefits of Ajax
By Alexei White


Often, in business, decision makers are interested mainly in how information technology can reduce costs, or make better use of information assets. The benefits of Ajax seem to come more out of the cost-containment arena than the latter. The question becomes "Where do these cost savings come from and how can we quantify them?"
1. Potentially Measurable Benefits

These are benefits that can be measured and expressed in terms of dollars and cents without much difficulty. Regardless of the quality of your Ajax UI, you will look to these metrics to estimate value. They include:

1. Time spent waiting for data to be transmitted: Time is money. Over many repetitions, the time employees spend waiting for the page to load can add up to significant costs.
2. Time spent completing a particular task: Increased efficiency in the user interface can often mean that time is saved at the task level, offering opportunities for concrete cost savings there.
3. Bandwidth consumed for the entire task: The cost of bandwidth does not increase linearly, but does increase as the company invests in larger-capacity Internet connections and new hardware to accommodate greater server loads. A firm's cost structure for bandwidth depends on the scale of their operation and these capital investment needs. That being said, the cost of bandwidth can be measured if this cost structure is known. If repetitious tasks consume a lot of bandwidth, these costs can escalate dramatically. The amount of bandwidth consumed also has implications for time savings.

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