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It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane! It’s a moving target!

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane! It’s a moving target!

In a meeting with a client last week, the conversation moved to an interesting topic. The fact that the Web seems to always be a moving target – and why smart teams must always be in a continuous improvement mode.

That got me thinking. How fast is the IT Web really moving — and what should it mean to your strategy?


To find out, I decided to take a close look at some sites that have launched major improvements over the past two years – plus another mega site – Oracle.com – which is currently involved in a slow motion roll out. Just for fun I added HP.com to the mix since it competes directly with these sites – and seems to be perpetually running in the same place.

Turns out the prevailing wisdom is right.

One look at the graph below will tell you that a bunch of leading IT Websites have been on the march setting new standards over the past 24 months.

2011-13 Overall Website Performance Trends

At the top of the stack is SAP.com which has executed a stunning turnaround – both in terms of content and usability. The new EMC.com is also on a similar track.

Meanwhile, Oracle.com’s ongoing roll out is also paying dividends, although it continues to rank second behind the IBM.com properties (the main IBM.com site and its kissing cousin, the IBM Software Group zone). Since Oracle.com’s revamp isn’t finished, it will be interesting to see how it scores in another 6 months.

IBM.com and Cisco.com continue to reign as the biggest and the best – but that hasn’t stopped their momentum. IBM.com’s massive content footprint and Centennial design has delivered nice scoring bumps – and Cisco.com isn’t far behind. From a usability perspective, these sites are essentially kissing cousins.

Which leaves us with the other mega site to consider. HP.com. Despite a flurry of activity over the past two years, HP.com’s lack of a central design theme and hit & miss updates has sent its scores in the wrong direction. My POV? HP.com is the pluperfect example of why a site must have strong central governance and a strategy that gets buy in from stakeholders.

And what about you? What should this little exercise tell you about your Website? Quite frankly, if you are resting on your laurels, you’re going backwards. It’s not enough to launch a big “ta da” every 24 months. We’re in the middle of a design revolution and continuous improvement is the name of the game.

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I focus on strategy and trends – and how the Web turns business rules on their heads. My job is to identify the Web-related trends and best practices that will change your world over the next 18 months. Where you need to cut through the clutter of conventional wisdom. How to change the competitive rules of the game. More gory details in my profile -- and unvarnished opinions about the sites we evaluate on Google+

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