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Global Tensions, Chips, and the Supply Chain: How an MSP Can Help

Global Tensions, Chips, and the Supply Chain: How an MSP Can Help

CompucomEmma Mak •  Staff Writer 

In April, China once again conducted military exercises off the coast of Taiwan, causing Asia-Pacific tensions to move up the list of potential geopolitical supply chain issues to keep an eye on.

Since the world relies heavily on Taiwan's semiconductor factories for most chips used in PCs, servers, and mobile phones, hostile actions by China could have a devastating global effect on supply chains.

How an MSP Can Help With Technology Supply Chain Concerns

"Ultimately, it's about incrementally increasing the time you can keep things running and finding alternatives to concentrated sources of risk," said Koray Köse, a senior director analyst for supply chain research at Gartner, who advised CIOs to understand their risk exposure.

A forward-thinking Managed Services Provider (MSP) will already have contingency plans for times of crisis. Were anything to escalate further in the Asia-Pacific, it would likely lead to shortages and price increases for workplace devices. To help minimize the impact, an MSP should provide customers with the following:

  • Guidance on how to extend hardware and software lifecycles
  • Virtual Desktop solutions that can encourage “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies and lower the importance of having up-to-date hardware
  • Cloud computing solutions to reduce dependence on physical servers
  • Lease programs, such as Device as a Service, provide lower upfront costs and flexibility in managing device inventory
  • IT Asset Management (ITAM) systems to track device use, maintenance, and repairs, identify opportunities for device optimization, and ensure the devices are properly maintained

As a recognized IT-managed services and technology provider, Compucom has additional ways to help customers deal with supply chain issues, such as:

  • Stocking several months of inventory for our customers
  • Tracking lead times so we can adjust inventory levels as needed
  • Replenishing used inventory by replacing warranty parts from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs) and by fixing repairable parts
  • Taking full advantage of the global reach of our procurement and our strong relationships with OEMs
  • Maintaining extra inventory on hand so that devices can be shipped as replacements or on loan until your ordered items arrive

How Likely is This Crisis to Happen?

No one can tell the future, but we can always learn from the past. In a recent virtual discussion hosted by a research initiative of an American Think Tank (CSIS), the speakers noted that April's actions in the Taiwan Strait indicate that China is continuing to develop its general readiness for a blockade or invasion.

“A Chinese naval blockade of the island, or an outright invasion, would immediately cut off the supply of nearly all current production SoCs (systems on chips) designed by the likes of Qualcomm, Broadcom, and Nvidia and supplied by them to Apple, Samsung, Dell, HP, etc.” according to The Center of European Policy Analysis (CEPA). Additionally, CIO.com includes Intel on the list of vulnerable companies since part of the US chip maker's production happens in Taiwan.

Compucom: A Trusted Advisor in Times of Crisis

If the pandemic, natural disasters, the worldwide chip shortage, and the state of geopolitical unrest tell us anything, it's that you are either just coming out of a crisis, in the middle of a crisis, or getting ready to enter into a crisis.

Times of crisis are when a trusted IT partner is needed the most. They will have well-thought-out contingency plans in place for supplier shortages, and customers can count on them to develop strategies to mitigate potential impacts on their business and workforce.

We are a trusted advisor for all things IT: providing devices and hardware solutions, transformative professional services, user-centric managed services, and IT staffing. Choose us as your single-source provider for the best IT solutions for your enterprise.