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Velocity: Transforming Web Operations from Cost Center to Competitive Advantage: An O'Reilly Radar Research Report

June 23, 2008

Velocity: Transforming Web Operations from Cost Center to Competitive Advantage Sebastopol, CA—Five years after the phrase "web operations" was first used, appearing as part of name of the Internet Web Ops Conference in 2003, the term remains ill defined and even controversial. The Web is universally understood to have changed the way we do business: how we buy and sell products, collaborate and share information with colleagues, and participate in new forms of virtual interaction altogether. In an online business—and nearly every business is an online business today—web sites have clearly become one of the most important parts of a company's operations. And yet, few companies give web operations its due as a core factor in business success.

Jesse Robbins of the O'Reilly Radar team puts it succinctly: "You only make money when your web site is up. The more available and faster your web site, the more revenue-generating pages a customer can view in the same amount of time, and the happier the customer will be."

The latest O'Reilly Radar Report, Velocity: Transforming Web Operations from Cost Center to Competitive Advantage, written by Allan Alter and the O'Reilly Research Group (O'Reilly, US $399, PDF), examines the benefits of maintaining a high performance, high uptime site web site, and the hits that businesses can take if they neglect web operations. According to Alter, most executives don't know enough about the basic principles, technologies, and management practices that separate well run sites from the also-rans. This report, written for business executives and managers at online businesses (or any company with a commercial web site), provides a guide to understanding what web operations means and the business opportunities and risks it presents, as well as best practices for operating and managing a mission-critical site. The report also includes:

  • The three crucial high-level principles for succeeding with web operations and performance
  • The eight business principles that should drive web operations strategy
  • Case studies that offer real-world examples of the impact of web operations
  • An appendix for executives that gives an overview of the most important web operations and performance technologies

"Customers don't care about the operational, behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on, such as how many servers support a site, server automation, or HTML coding," says Alter. "But they do care about whether the site keeps crashing, takes a long time to download pages, or if the features on the site hang up. That's why smart executives at all Internet companies—in fact, any organization that conducts business on the Web—are recognizing that reliable web operations and fast web site performance are essential."

The release of Velocity: Transforming Web Operations from Cost Center to Competitive Advantage coincides with the opening of O'Reilly's newest conference: Velocity: Optimizing Web Performance and Scalability. Organized for people building at Internet scale, the conference takes place on June 23-24, 2008 at the San Francisco Airport Marriott in Burlingame, California.

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