Just how serious is GM about information technology? While cutting billions of dollars in costs elsewhere, the company intends to drop about $15B (nearly $100,000 per employee) to build a network of approximately 200,000 computers. Obviously, a deal this large could change the entire industry, and GM has been bringing together the giants (IBM, EDS, Microsoft, H-P, and others) for months of discussion to make sure that methods are in place to make these systems work before any contracts are awarded. This, of course, is a welcome change of pace from the usual "buy the technology and then figure out how to use it" approach that has defined how American businesses purchase IT products. And, yes, I'd love to see the return-on-investment calculations used to convince management to cut an eleven-figure check.

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