I interviewed David Greenberg who discussed the future of IT supply chains.
Dustin: Thank you, David, for spending your time today to discuss the future of IT supply chains. Can you start by providing a brief background of yourself?
David: Sure, Dustin. Basically, I’ve been in the IT industry for the better part of fifteen-plus years. I’ve been working for global companies like NTT and Verio, as well as some regional companies like TIAC and Coghlin. My functional experience has spanned from account management to strategic partner in development and, most recently, I’d say the better part of the last eight years or so, I’ve been very active working with the regional integrator with IT supply chain issues, IT procurement, and IT sourcing.
Dustin: Thank you. My first question is: Why are you so passionate about IT supply chains, and can you talk about what they are?
David: Sure, sure. First, as far as what they are, classically, we think of the IT supply chain as, I should say it’s really overly simplistic terms as the flow of raw IT materials, if you will—boards, chips, hard drives, et cetera—to an OEM manufacturer—maybe it’s Apple or Lenovo—and then from there, moving to a distributor or * (1:38—unclear) and then to an end user. In short, it’s basically the linkage of IT suppliers and customers, and we create a long, if you will, supply chain and, hence, an IT supply chain. I’m passion about IT supply chains because they really provide people, organizations who really focus well on IT supply chain management, it really provides them with a strong, competitive advantage. You see this on the global level with Apple and Dell, but you also see it on the local level, where they’re able to really have a well-thought-out supply chain or sourcing strategy so that they’re able to really provide products and services to their clients very quickly.
Dustin: What do you see as the future of IT supply chains?
David: That’s an excellent question. Basically, there are a few things. One, on the end user end—that is, the client who’s using IT solution—it’s gonna become much more service-oriented. You’re seeing this with all these SaaS, cloud solutions, things like that, so it’s not just gonna be product in the supply chain, but it’s also gonna be service. What we’re also already seeing on the front end of the supply chain is that it’s becoming much more globally dispersed. We’re already seeing it now, and we’re probably gonna see it even more magnified, where suppliers at the front end are all over the globe, so it becomes much more challenging to manage your supply chain. Interestingly enough, with what’s happening at the, how should I say, the end user end, where it’s becoming more service-oriented, in the middle you’re seeing huge data-centered companies that are rising up, so it’s becoming more condensed, where there are few very strong data-centered companies. What’s happening there is now, they’re becoming new suppliers of things like cooling requirements, power requirements that are really entering in a big way, more upstream into the supply chain.
Dustin: And who needs to pay more attention to IT supply chains?
David: That’s another good question. Basically, the OEMs tend to pay very good attention. They’re very in tune with what’s going on in the IT supply chains. Some do it better than others. Governments are starting to pay much, much more attention to the IT supply chain for various reasons. There’s the concern about tampered goods, if you will, or how should I say, bad material getting into a supply chain and then creating a security issue for governments as well as end users. Also, the government is starting to pay much more attention to streamlining processes, as well as, how should I say, moving to service-based solutions like what we said before. They’re starting to pay more attention to the IT supply chain. Probably the folks who pay the least amount of attention and who should probably pay more attention is the end user. The end user is usually just focused on what’s coming through; that is, the product and now the service. It would probably behoove them to pay much more attention to the actual flow so that they could better predict issues or problems that arise.
Dustin: Thank you, David, for sharing your views and some thoughts on IT supply chains and what’s gonna be in the future for IT supply chains.
David: Thank you very much, Dustin. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you.
About David Greenberg
IT Procurement, Sourcing and Supply Chain