Dot-coms are going out of business at a frightening rate. Dozens of click- and-mortar companies are scaling back their Web presence. Consumer confidence is at a five-year low.1 The economy and the e-business revolution seem to be seriously sagging at the moment. Is it time to play it close to the vest and cut back spending at every level, including information technology (IT)? Many companies seem to think so these days, as layoffs are seemingly rampant in the auto, manufacturing and dot-com sectors. I, for one, don't think it's time to wildly slash spending. I think it's time to wisely allocate spending.
The decisions you make today, especially those regarding your IT systems, will affect your bottom line no matter what happens to the economy in the next couple of years. However, if you make good decisions and spend your dollars judiciously, you may be in a better position to weather any economic storm. There are several ways to sensibly spend your precious IT dollars that will net you big returns in the long run. These returns although they may be "soft" at first will eventually lead to either actual savings or increased revenue. Either way you win. Two initiatives that will net you positive savings or revenues are a corporate-wide IT systems audit and a corporate-wide IT application and process integration initiative.
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