Blockchains for Enterprise: Can They Work?

Several years ago when blockchain technology first appeared on the scene, the idea that it could one day be used by businesses seemed very distant. But now, companies around the world are quickly embracing the technology that holds so much promise. As a 2019 report by IBM pointed out, “after years of experimentation and with experience from established live networks, we have a clear picture of what a trusted and transparent enterprise blockchain should look like.” In fact, research and advisory firm Gartner stated that blockchain is a top technology trend for 2020.

From financial services, supply chain-dependent industries like pharma, energy, retail and food services, to identity management – blockchains can enable better functionality, increased efficiency, time savings, transaction speediness, not to mention a massive reduction in operating costs. It is also worth noting that “more than twice as many blockchain early adopters report high revenue growth and profitability compared to those not yet adopting blockchain technology”, according to the IBM report.

One of the most exciting use cases, companies with supply chains are among those who stand to gain the most benefits from using blockchains. Today’s consumer is more mindful than those of the past about how they spend their money. They understand that they have an infinite number of options to choose from – and they are more environmentally and socially conscious than ever before. They demand to know where their food came from and who made the clothing they wear – and this is only the beginning. The phrase “vote with your dollars” couldn’t be a more apt motto that today’s consumer lives by. 

And it is those companies who understand this who will embrace blockchain technology as it allows them to demonstrate every single phase in the production cycle. Some of the world’s oldest companies like IBM, Ford Motor Company, LG Chem and RCS Global are currently working together on building a blockchain to show how materials in the cobalt supply chain are produced responsibly – “from mine to end manufacturer”. IBM has even launched IBM Food Trust to enable consumers to fully trace their food products through a permanent, permissioned and shared record.

Not only does it provide the transparency that individuals want from companies, it also allows companies themselves to keep better track of transactions and interactions that take place along their supply chain. This way, they can better demonstrate compliance and deal with issues quickly in case they arise.

Even professional services giant Ernst & Young launched the EY OpsChain Public Finance Manager last year to assist governments in improving transparency and tracking budgets and expenditures. EY states, “blockchain will integrate information and process within and across enterprise boundaries and has the potential to streamline and accelerate your business processes, increase protection against cybersecurity and reduce or eliminate the roles of intermediaries.”

Although companies have the ability to build their own proprietary blockchains, the well-established blockchain Ethereum has set up Enterprise Ethereum to offer organizations the ability to build, test and deploy decentralized applications. They can be private, consortium or hybrid implementations of Ethereum’s codebase. In fact, Ethereum is leading the DeFi (Decentralized Finance) movement, where projects are building on top of the Ethereum blockchain, as financial services has proved to be one of the most promising use cases of blockchain technology.

So yes, not only can blockchains for enterprise work, but 2020 is the year for it – and if you run a business, there is no better time to consider implementing this incredible technology. Here at Blockchain Collective, we enable forward-thinkers, movers and shakers, and simply those who understand the new world we live in. 

Blockchain Collective is a marketplace where we match top talent with businesses looking for real solutions with the implementation of blockchain technology. Our cutting edge developers, system architects, consultants, product and project managers can build from the ground up. Learn more at blockchaincollective.co.

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