Author: Pete Loughlin

In their market overview Market Overview, ePurchasing And Contract Life-Cycle Management In 2011 to 2012, Forrester describes four forces that are keeping supplier networks dynamic and competitive. They talk a great deal of sense but they forgot the fifth force - the one that's going to make 2012 the year for supplier networks.

I wrote recently about Tradeshift’s new instant payment model. I was enthusiastic. I still am. But I had some misgivings – quite serious misgivings actually. The thing about taking a disruptive approach in any market place is that you have to be very sure of yourself. Not in an arrogant or conceited way. Sure of yourself in the sense that you are sure that you’re going in the right direction – sure that you have the right team and most important of all, sure you have the backing to survive what could be a difficult journey. Tradeshift are taking on more than the e-invoicing players. They’re taking on the banks too. They’re developing a new model that could change things and their competition aren’t going to take it lying down. My concern was that without some serious financial backing, Tradeshift are likely to go the way of many before them – pioneer, then disappear. But then I read this in the Wall Street Journal.

It's been a difficult couple of weeks to RIM. The service disruption in parts of Europe then more recently in the US couldn't have come at a worse time. With revenues down 10% and profits more than halved,  (according to The Economist) it's a brave IT buyer that backs the Blackberry. The Blackberry is losing ground for all kinds of reasons. Some blame the odd governance structure of Research in Motion with joint chairmen also acting as joint CEO and the growing competition from the iPhone and Android smart phones is having a significant impact. But RIM's difficulties are just a single example of how the rapidly moving market for consumer IT is making the job of managing IT policy and IT sourcing more complex.