In the last 12 months or so there has been a number of natural events that have had unpredicted consequences to business. There was the Volcano that grounded Europe and created significant disruption to some global supply chains. There was (and still is) unrest in northern Africa that made many business question the safety of their assumptions when selecting locations for low cost country outsourced operations and there was the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan with it enormous human cost and the lingering consequences to any business reliant on Japanese industry.
Procurement and sourcing organizations play a vital role in helping to mitigate and manage the risks inherent in operating in a fragile global economy. Risk management is regrettably under valued sometimes but these events should have brought into crisp focus the necessity of ensuring that backup strategies are in places - not just for the routing, mundane and predictable events but also for the unthinkable. And this is why it's so shocking to have seen the massive disruption cause by Amazon cloud crash this week.