What’s the Right Portfolio View of the Supply Chain IT Investment?

A recent article over on the SCRC site on The Supply Chain IT Investment Enigma promoted a portfolio view of the IT investment, in line with Hackett Group recommendations, that appropriately balances the sustainment of current capabilities with the development of new capabilities. The question is, for an average organization, what’s the right balance?

It’s difficult to say as it depends on where the organization is on the technology curve, how long since it has acquired the solutions it has, what types of solutions it has, and what the gaps are between the organization and world class organizations in its peer group. Furthermore, it’s often hard to differentiate sustainment technologies with new capabilities, since upgrading certain solution suites, such as the sourcing suite, will not only sustain the organization’s capabilities but add new ones to the mix.

And the article, which ran through the laundry list of Supply Chain Technologies — DM, PLM, PP, APS, SCEM, SRM, WMS, etc. — wasn’t very helpful in terms of describing what that portfolio should be. Analytics needs to be there. World class sourcing and SRM needs to be there. And PLM needs to be there. But what else needs to be there depends upon the current state and specific needs of the organization. And so does a solution that integrates all of the solutions onto one backbone. But it might not be possible to determine more than this without a gap analysis by an appropriately experienced supply chain IT professional. Any other thoughts on the issue?