Business with blockchain will look very different in the future
Cryptocurrency and blockchain may be relative newcomers to the business world, but they’re certainly turning heads across many other industries. The concept of having a single public version of data that is available to everyone simultaneously is too attractive to ignore, and despite not yet having gained significant traction outside of finance, some businesses are taking this concept seriously.
It’s still too early to tell where blockchain technology could take us, but pilot projects have been taking place to demonstrate the feasibility of using the technology in different industries. The blockchain is a concept that doesn’t necessarily fit with existing business systems, and so it will take some real innovation in terms of processes to unleash its true potential. While the number of different blockchain platforms being developed is approaching three figures, few are compatible with each other, and the standards are still in the process of being set. However, while the concept is generating a high level of interest from a wide range of industries, there is a significant amount of scepticism, too.
In order to successfully pioneer blockchain technology in new sectors, companies need to understand its capabilities, and how it can best enhance their businesses. They need to understand how others are investing in the process, and the impact blockchain is having on those business systems. In addition, they must realise that incorporating blockchain into the business strategy won’t just improve existing processes – it will completely change them.
The potential for having a robust and uneditable record that is laid down and replicated across millions of devices can no longer be ignored, and now is the time for businesses to look at how their visions and strategies could benefit from blockchain, and get on board by working on proofs of concept.
Predicting the future of blockchain in the short term is difficult. It has taken hold in the financial sector, and there are signs that businesses in industries such as renewable energy and manufacturing will be next to start evolving. Some are already hoping that there will be blockchain success stories during 2018, but in order to succeed, there needs to be a completely different approach in terms of processes. This is as much about how willing businesses are to make that leap out of their comfort zone and change the way they operate, as it is about what blockchain is capable of.
In the same way that the rise of the internet changed the way businesses operated by forcing them to build and expanding their online presence, blockchain also has the potential to make a revolutionary impact. High street retailers that failed to keep up with the digital revolution have shut up shop: there’s a real possibility that businesses left behind by blockchain could suffer the same fate in the future.
To avoid that risk, it’s imperative to continue to innovate and create fresh ideas in order to stay up to date with the latest technology.
This article was written by Ben Palmer, Managing Director, IJB Global.