As economic clouds grow progressively darker, many firms are desperately cutting costs across the board. Freezes, cancellations and layoffs hover closer to reality. This thought strikes anxiety in the hearts of information technology (IT) executives. Once again, IT finds itself in a no-win, downward- spiraling, cost-cutting rut.

Alan Greenspan has been a solid proponent of IT as a way of improving productivity, thus stimulating our recent economic boom.1 Further, he has stated that IT is an important factor for powering the economy both into and out of its current slowdown. The flow of nearly real-time information along the supply chain not only improves productivity, but also improves the ability of an industry to compensate for fluctuations in demand.

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