Quick, what is the greatest supply risk your IT department faces today? Is it political and economic instability in regions where you've outsourced back office processing? Is it disloyal overseas contractors or employees who will job hop to a competitor with trade secrets the same day they walk out of the door of your organization? No, the greatest supply risk IT perpetrator of all is much closer to home. In fact, you're probably reading this post with one of their products. You guessed it. It's Microsoft.
But some companies and government agencies aren't waiting for Microsoft to ruin their IT day. They're taking preemptive action, forbidding Microsoft's latest operating systems and applications. Over on Procurement Central, Dave Stephens writes that "Microsoft (MSFT) has run into trouble with a major customer over Vista: The U.S. Department of Transportation has banned Windows Vista, Office 2007, and Internet Explorer 2007, InformationWeek reports. The newly revealed policy forbidding installation of Microsoft's latest software has been in place since mid-January ... As a consequence, the DOT isn't just holding back on upgrading to Vista. It's actively considering Apple (AAPL) Macintosh computers, as well as PCs running Novell's (NOVL) SuSe Linux". You can read more on Business 2.0 about DOT’s banning of Vista here.
Personally, I think that Open Ratings should have a special blue screen of death supply risk alert that comes up whenever someone checks on the operational danger MSFT presents to their business. Sure, Microsoft might have billions in the bank -- and they are not at any risk of going out of business -- but they're obviously not spending their cash on helping reduce enterprise IT risk through releasing more reliable applications and operating systems that work right the first time.