The current downturn is unique because it is happening in the midst of a rapid transformation of business by information technologies. This transformation has been driven most recently by the widespread adoption of broadband and Web 2.0 technologies, mobility enabled by increasingly powerful wireless devices, technological platforms of unprecedented functionality, and the emergence of commercially viable computing clouds and software services.
These turbulent economic times present new opportunities for companies that invest wisely in information technologies, and new threats for those without a sufficiently forward-looking IT investment strategy. Opportunities arise because downturns can change consumer preferences, making people experiment with new lower-cost products or modes of consumption that were not pursued seriously during more prosperous times. Dangers arise if IT spending is conducted without careful assessment of the long-term impact. This is more likely when executive attention is devoted excessively towards short-term earnings management and cost control.