At 21st Century, Web developers initially geared the Web site so that California auto-insurance customers could do things such as pay bills and file claims online. Now the company is working to expand services to customers in other states and those buying other types of insurance.
The economic slowdown has a silver lining of sorts for firms that are still buying equipment: A glut of supply has given them the upper hand in driving hard bargains.
Korn/Ferry's Demeter, for example, is negotiating to buy some software, and the seller's asking price now is "nowhere near what is was" when discussions began, he said.
"The price just keeps going down and down," Demeter said.
That trend may prove widespread, especially in sectors such as telecommunications, where a huge number of competitors have emerged since the mid-1990s.