The following commentary can also be viewed and commented upon on the Supply Chain Expert Community web site.

This morning, I happened to be reading the latest commentary published on the Gartner’s First Thing Monday newsletter, “The “Digital Natives’ Are Restless: The Pending Revolt Against the IT Nanny State.”  (Free user signup required)  This commentary, penned by Jim Shepherd, essentially concludes that the balance of power regarding IT application decisions is rapidly shifting to the business user.  Shepherd notes: “Gartner has seen a steady increase in the percentage of IT spending that’s directly funded by user departments, rather than the corporate IT budget.” Readers should take somewhat special notice to this Gartner commentary, which was written in the tone of the recent social upheaval occurring across certain countries in the Middle East

Many in our supply chain management community would view this type of statement as not especially news, since supply chains teams have not been shy during these past months in assuming responsibility and control for certain IT application investments.  I argue that this trend in more business and functional driven investment actually began in supply chain circles.

Yes Gartner, “The Times, They Are A- Changin”, and supply chain functional teams have been leading the way for some time now.

We at Supply Chain Matters actually cited these Bob Dylan song lyrics in December when outlining Prediction Eight of our Supply Chain Matters Top Ten Predictions for Global Supply Chains in 2011. It was noted in the context of past vs. current thinking in healthcare related supply chains, and how quickly healthcare related supply chain teams have been taking more ownership for addressing required process and information needs.

We are all acutely aware that supply chains and their functional teams have been under enormous pressure these past few years.  Continued cost pressures, uncertain and rapidly shifting markets, and a more demanding customer requires higher levels of business intelligence, faster response and quicker decision-making in many supply chain process areas.

The revolt has already occurred and supply chain teams are indeed assuming more influence and accountability for selecting and implementing required IT applications. The fact that Gartner has acknowledged the revolt should embolden those business teams who have not taken on such leadership thus far to get cracking and join those who already have.

Bob Ferrari