IT Department Saves Big Bucks

Cost cutting in information technology looms over many corporate IT groups now, in these tough economic times. We're here to help.

Today begins a 5-part series profiling tactical projects that you can execute in a few weeks to a few months, reaping rewards almost immediately.

CEOs expect the economy to grow at a skimpy 1.3 percent this year, according to a survey of 110 chief executives conducted by the Business Roundtable. That's the slowest growth rate predicted by CEOs since the post-9/11 and post-bubble year of 2002.

More ominous: Of those gloomy CEOs, 31 percent expect unemployment to increase in the next six months, up from 22 percent who thought so at the beginning of the year. When the boss thinks fewer people will be working, fewer people will be working.

You have to be smart to keep your job. One way to display your smarts is to seek and destroy all money-sucking technology waste at your company.

In our first installment, learn how Lafarge, a $2.1 billion manufacturer of concrete, gypsum and other construction materials, saved seven figures by dealing more deftly with vendors AT&T and Hewlett-Packard.

Tomorrow, read how Gap, the clothing retailer, automated end-user access permissions, to speed up a tedious administrative process and save up to $1 million worth of the IT department's time. And by the way, the project also helps Gap better comply with PCI and Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, which streamlines audits and avoids fines.

Each day this week, we'll look at other money-saving ideas you can steal, including a green IT project at Washington Mutual, an attack on cell phone bills at Title Resource Group and an asset management effort at the U.S. Department of Defense. Stay tuned. You might just make yourself layoff-proof.

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