As awareness of blockchain increases, company executives may be questioning if they are being left behind – and, if they are not questioning, they should be. Each day, a news headline announces the launch of a new blockchain pilot or a blockchain consortium. The following blockchain pilots were all announced within a relatively short time frame:
- IBM and Maersk partnered to create TradeLens, a blockchain solution for tracking global shipping transactions.
- The Taipei Medical University Hospital set up a blockchain-based platform that allows patients access to their medical records and permits sharing of patients’ records between other hospitals and clinics.
- Verseon, a pharmaceutical company, developed a blockchain-based platform that facilitates public trading of securities.
- LG, in conjunction with mobile carriers from Taiwan, Japan and the US, plans to roll out a blockchain-based cross-carrier payment system that will allow users traveling abroad to use their cellphones to complete transactions and avoid credit card transaction fees and the risk of fluctuating exchange rates.
Even government agencies have put the pedal to the metal with blockchain. Estonia, the first country to apply blockchain on a national level, stores its government data on the KSI Blockchain. China has invested more than $3 billion in blockchain projects and has asked blockchain solution provider ConsenSys to develop decentralized applications (DApps) – applications that use backend code running on a decentralized peer-to-peer network – within the new region of Xiongan. Dubai plans to use blockchain technology to document all government transactions by 2020 and is starting with blockchain projects in its B2B tourism industry, legal system and transportation authority.
Despite the excitement, blockchain is not a magic pill, and organizations interested in incorporating it have significant decisions to consider. Scalability, regulations and standardization are all critical issues to be addressed. In addition, executives need to block out the noise of blockchain and remain focused on their business strategy and goals. The question to answer is “How can our company leverage blockchain to meet our mission statement and business objectives?”
Given the obvious significance of blockchain and its equally weighty challenges, how does a company adopt blockchain to avoid being left behind? There are practical applications that can be implemented today. Any enterprise that has grown by acquisition and has a decentralized, federated structure can store its data on a private blockchain and allow each business unit or region to develop its own DApp to access and manipulate the data. This allows an organization’s business units or regions to maintain their autonomy and enable quick adaptability of new products.
Blockchain is applicable to any enterprise – large or small – that has a database, a supply chain or enters into contracts. If you think your company might benefit from blockchain technology but you have more questions than answers, you are not alone. ISG has the perspective and experience to help companies across industries with their blockchain initiatives, setting them on their own blockchain roadmap. We are actively working on a variety of blockchain-related business strategies with enterprises across industries, including telecommunications, oil and gas, manufacturing, retail and pharmaceuticals.
ISG Blockchain Now™ will help you leverage blockchain to achieve your business goals.
About the author
Pamela has an accounting and finance background with experience in Project Management, Operations Management and Organizational Development. At ISG, Pam advises on IT sourcing and system implementation engagements leveraging her broad and diverse experience of leading departments and implementing systems over a 25 year career. Pam brings a global perspective having worked on multi-cultural teams as well as projects abroad in London, Suzhou (China), Poza Rica (Mexico) and Sydney. She teaches Accounting at Austin Community College on the weekends.