The Top Line Interview: Harvey Koeppel\n\nDon't Miss the Recovery\nWatch the market and your customers to catch the upswing, says the executive director of the Center for CIO Leadership and a former Citigroup Global Consumer Group CIO.\n\nWhat can CIOs do to make sure companies don't miss the first signs of a turnaround?\nTo read more on this topic, see: Bulletproofing the IT Budget and How to Analyze Twitter Conversations with Excel.\n\nFirst, recognize the opportunity to engage with CFOs and CEOs in more strategic conversations. Then there are two areas to watch. Indicators that get at the health of your particular company: total capitalization, stock price, operating leverage, overall revenue, customer growth and market share. Those all have interesting implications for project work. On the external side, stock markets, the DJIA, Nasdaq and the Consumer Price Index. A big one is merger and acquisition activity. Another leading indicator is tech stocks. The fortunes of tech vendors represent the purchasing power and capital investing of companies.\n\nWhat IT projects should be cut with a scalpel so CIOs don't inadvertently hobble their company?\n\nShore up the IT foundation and simplify. That means virtualization, shared infrastructure and business processes. Streamlining has an impact on shorter time to market and better sales, with a cascading effect on costs.\n\nWhat technology can help spot indicators of an upturn?\n\nSome use of social media to monitor customer conversations\u2014on Twitter, for example\u2014and then do analytics on that data.\n A major software provider used a social media platform to offer a $10,000 bounty to the customer who could offer the most innovative change to a business process using its software. The company awarded the prize and created goodwill and got thousands of ideas.\n\nDo you tweet? Follow me on Twitter @knash99. Follow everything from CIO Magazine @CIOMagazine.