This paper advocates an approach called the axiomatic method to reduce the costs of constructing an information system. Further, we contrast the applicability of the axiomatic method to the more traditional approach of enumerating alternatives (the algorithmic method) in constructing an information system. We delineate the steps involved in building an information system, present a set of pilot axioms, and offer some derivative theorems. We then apply these axioms and theorems to each phase (specification, design, implementation, and maintenance) of the information system life cycle, and confirm a number of empirical results other information system builders have observed.