We draw on process theory to examine how information technology standards affect firm performance via and in conjunction with process variables. In contrast to past IT performance studies that have been rather silent on the simultaneous investigation of indirect and enabling effects of process variables, this study takes an integrative approach by comparing moderating and mediating effects of process standardization and process automation. The model is empirically tested by investigating the (perceived) performance impact of the IT standard XML using data collected from 201 publishing firms in Germany. While process variables showed strong and significant mediating effects in the relationship between IT and perceived cost effectiveness, we could not detect significant moderating effects of process variables. Furthermore, process standardization consistently outperformed process automation in terms of effect magnitude and strength of impact on perceived cost effectiveness. The implications of these findings and the limitations of the study are discussed in an effort to contribute to a methodological extension of the business value of IT debate at the organizational level of analysis.