There are a number of significant business benefits that blockchain technology and blockchain-based solutions can organizations. These include a high degree of security, public verification of data and transactions, transparency and auditability, as well as reduced cost and transactional friction.
Blockchain also offers organizations of all sizes the opportunity to raise capital more efficiently by creating tradeable digital tokens, backed by real-world assets that enable fractional ownership and create opportunities to decrease processing times and remove intermediary costs.
However, there is also a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding about blockchain technology and its applications. And because blockchain technology represents a paradigm shift in thinking about how software applications are developed, and the way business problems are addressed, we believe introducing your company to blockchain involves a journey; The Blockchain Journey.
Education and Insight
The first step in the journey is to ensure that your leadership and management teams understand blockchain well enough to assess whether there are tangible business benefits for your company.
Pretty obvious really, but we see this as a vital first stage in the blockchain journey and it involves investing a reasonable amount of time and effort in bringing your key personnel up to speed with blockchain. This means understanding the technology itself, at least at a high level, but perhaps, more importantly, it means understanding the business problems that blockchain can solve, those it cannot solve and the applications that are most likely to benefit from a blockchain-based solution.
Blockchain in your Industry
Next, we believe that it’s well worth analyzing who in your industry is already working with blockchain technology. Which companies are developing solutions and how are they implementing the technology to solve specific industry challenges? And, perhaps most importantly, which of your competitors are considering, or even already developing, blockchain solutions?
Blockchain Solutions for your Business
The third stage is to assess your own business; your stakeholder community and your markets. What are the key challenges and opportunities that you’re facing right now?
Does blockchain enable a new capability that would create a competitive advantage? Could it support a new innovative product or service? Can blockchain improve an existing process by making it more efficient, or possibly remove costly intermediaries that slow down critical processes and dilute margins?
Does blockchain offer the opportunity to develop new incentive mechanisms that encourage greater engagement from your stakeholders? Or does it enable you to issue digital tokens that create more efficient funding mechanisms?
At this point in the journey, you will have a pretty good understanding of what blockchain technology is, the applications to which it’s most suited, who’s working on blockchain applications and solutions in your industry and what relevant opportunities and challenges exist that blockchain could potentially be a solution for.
Applications and Proof of Concept
And, having traveled this far in the journey, you may well have identified opportunities to develop and implement solutions, for your organization, that exploit the unique benefits of blockchain technology.
The technology itself has moved far beyond its initial applications in banking and cryptocurrency. In 2019 businesses will have spent some $2.9 billion on blockchain technology, up almost 90% from 2018.
Industries from insurance to gaming, recruitment to manufacturing, and health services to legal cannabis are all developing blockchain applications to address a wide range of challenges and opportunities.
The fact is that use cases for a secure, transparent, borderless, verifiable ledger of transactions operating on a fraud-resistant decentralized platform are practically endless. And so the final stage in the blockchain journey is its application to solve real business challenges or enable new service offerings or create new ways to exchange value, or raise capital.
Of course, it may be that there’s no fit for blockchain in your business at this time, and that’s OK. Your new-found knowledge of the technology itself and how it may impact your business in the coming years is still invaluable for your business and strategic planning process.
At Welford, we’ve analyzed blockchain applications in a wide range of industries and helped clients develop and launch blockchain programs and projects. We can bring significant experience and expertise to help you understand how blockchain technology is disrupting your industry; and how you can take advantage of it.
And, if you’re already partway through the journey, we can step in at any point and help you move forward to execute your blockchain strategy and achieve your goals.
Contact Welford today, and we’ll be happy to discuss how you and your company can start the blockchain journey.