When private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management bought a majority stake in Chrysler a \n\nlittle over a year ago, it knew it had to make some radical changes-that's what \n\nprivate-equity firms do. Its plans called for the automaker to be back to profitability by \n\n2009. \n\nThen things changed, and as Senior Editor Stephanie Overby writes in "Saving Chrysler," "Cerberus and Chrysler executives have since \n\nabandoned" the idea that the company will be profitable by 2009.\n\nChrysler's challenge was daunting. A primarily domestic, relatively low-tech company in a \n\nglobal, high-tech world, executives knew they had to shrink the business in order to free \n\nup enough capital to realign it to new market realities. "At the heart of Chrysler's \n\ntransformation," Overby writes, "is its information technology organization, which itself \n\nmust not only shrink in size and get fiscally focused, but support the more agile and \n\nglobal Chrysler of the future."\n\nShrinking means outsourcing, and Chrysler has entered into a couple of major deals. On the \n\ninside, IT must restructure to support the outsourced environment and align more closely \n\nwith the business, says Jan Bertsch, senior vice president, treasurer and CIO at Chrysler. \n\n"To move from order taker to innovation partner...requires a change in thinking, a shift \n\nin focus and, in some cases, skills."\n\nThe company was able to rip the Band-Aid off quickly in moving the infrastructure work out \n\nto outsourcer CSC, but application work is taking longer to transition, and that's having \n\nan impact on morale. "I knew we had to consider a lot of options as we decided how to \n\nreact to this challenge and transform our company and the IT organization," says Bertsch. \n\n\nBut this summer's slump-with $4-a-gallon gas just one of many factors affecting both \n\nconsumer behavior and the price of production-has slowed momentum on the transformation. \n\nChrysler's June sales fell 36 percent from where they had been a year before. And slowed \n\nmomentum once a company is well into a major transition is not a good thing.\n\nCIO Bertsch says she wants IT "to drive-not just react to-business growth." Now that \n\nChrysler is facing unexpected business contraction, this goal is more pressing than ever. \n\n\n"We're living in times of unprecedented change, and my personality is pretty well-suited \n\nto change," she says. That's a good thing for Chrysler, where the ability to both maintain \n\nfocus and respond quickly to changing conditions will be essential to saving the company.