Forty percent of CIOs polled in a recent CIO Executive Council survey reported that they were under \u201cvery high\u201d or \u201csignificant\u201d pressure to cut costs.Cutting costs. What a drag. Who got into IT\u2014or any profession\u2014in order to cut costs? (Except, perhaps, for a few weird accountants, bankers and CFOs.) Don\u2019t the business guys know that IT drives innovation, and innovation drives success and competitive differentiation? Haven\u2019t CIOs been told over and over that the CEO wants IT to contribute to the top line? And doesn\u2019t this tired tune about cost cutting mitigate all that? Everyone knows you have to spend money to make money.In the best of all possible worlds, everyone would raise a glass to IT and give it all the cash it needs to support the business. Unfortunately, this is not the best of all possible worlds; this is the real world. And in the real world of business, cutting costs is the most direct path toward profitability. At least for the next quarter.It\u2019s no use complaining. To quote Hyman Roth in The Godfather Part II, like it or not, \u201cThis is the business we\u2019ve chosen.\u201dCIOs have to cut costs, but cutting rashly is not a long-term strategy for business success\u2014or for the CIO\u2019s job security. You need to do your trimming strategically so that the cuts produce sustainable value. If you play your cards right, the money you save might even come back to you to fund innovation.In \u201cTrimming for Dollars,\u201d on Page 34, we introduce you to CIOs at companies both large and small who have learned to cut smart. Their rules include:1. Don\u2019t keep multiple systems. Getting rid of them reduces labor, licensing and hardware costs, and promotes efficiency and improved service.2. Routinize the routine. Automate wherever and whenever possible. This is something IT has always been very good at, and it saves labor costs.3. Examine service levels. Not everything needs to be maintained 24\/7.4. Only pay for what you use. Are you paying licensing fees on applications you no longer use? Bet you are. Bet you don\u2019t even know that you are.5. Get rid of old hardware. As United Technologies CIO John Doucette says, \u201cOld stuff is evil.\u201d It\u2019s expensive to maintain and generates less value.There are lots of other rules, tips, stories and wisdom in \u201cTrimming for Dollars,\u201d but I\u2019m under \u201csignificant\u201d pressure to reduce the number of words I use in these letters. Type ain\u2019t free, ya know. And brevity has a demonstrable ROI.