This chapter aims to examine the extent of Web services usage and quality, applying the balanced scorecard methodology in a small business firm as an exploratory case study. This chapter contributes to guidelines and lessons learned that will inform, educate, and promote small businesses on the importance of maintaining the quality of Web services.
Background Information: The Balanced Scoreboard
The balanced scorecard deployed to measure the effective use and quality of Web services among small businesses focuses on a system that enforces measurement and feedback, thereby imposing quality, continuous improvement, employee empowerment, and strategic performance that aim to sustain the competitive and strategic objectives. The balanced scorecard measures the performance of Web services in a small business firm from four perspectives, namely, learning and growth, internal business processes, customer, and financial perspectives, which are discussed below. Each of these four perspectives is further categorized by their objectives (as in what are their outcomes?) measures (as in how to achieve their outcomes?) targets, that is, accountability (as in how do we know that we have achieved it?), and initiatives (as in what actions to take?). Further, the balanced scorecard is based on three time dimensional timelines, namely, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The next section presents a discussion of the four perspectives.