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“Do we get value or money?” or “Do we have an attractive ROI?” are vital questions that any organisation is encountering today in pursuing an exploitation of the Internet. No matter whether exploitation is in regard to a focus on internal efficiency or external effectiveness the organisation carefully needs to verify the investment in terms of expected costs and likely benefits.

The research question of the paper is to identify the different approaches to cost-benefit methods of Internet investments and to provide an overview of what the approaches sheds light upon. Moreover, the paper provides two examples of cost-benefit analyses. Finally, the paper provides a applicable short-list of important activities and decisions in a cost-benefit analysis.

The paper suggests that cost-benefit analyses should not only contain content variables, but also include flow variables of the communication process, i.e. the variables of volume, data integration, diversity and span.