Blockchain is one of those new technologies that comes along every so often on a wave of hype that sometimes ends up crashing on the shores of unrealized expectations. So, is blockchain going to change the world? Or is blockchain destined to become a big flop?
In DXC Technology’s view, the answer falls somewhere in between. No, blockchain will not take over the world. And no, it is not just hype. We firmly believe that blockchain will improve the world, particularly the worlds of government and business, because it enables trust and transparency in the realm of digital transactions.
While it’s still very early, in our vision, blockchain technology will eventually become a standard part of new business applications that involve transactions and data flows. Maybe 15 percent of a new business process will involve blockchain; maybe it will be 20 percent. But the result will be an app that is smarter, cheaper and more efficient.
What can blockchain do for you?
For CxOs trying to figure out whether blockchain can deliver value to their business, it’s important to understand that blockchain is a technology that allows for the fast, efficient verification and validation of transactional data. In today’s increasingly digital world, there are opportunities to apply blockchain technology to specific business processes across virtually all industries.
The best approach to determining where blockchain can play a role in your organization is to identify areas that have issues with data communication and data interaction; areas where you have multiple parties, either internal or external, and different bits of information that need to be integrated, verified and shared to create a trusted network or ecosystem.
Think of an insurance company that is setting rates on large container ships traveling across the globe, moving from areas of relative safety to areas where, let’s say, piracy is not uncommon. With blockchain technology, insurance companies can gather data quickly and accurately and set premiums accordingly.
The same situation exists with insurance claim data that might include input from multiple sources. With blockchain, all of that data is updated, synched and verified in a workflow that is visible to all parties.
Or picture a large enterprise with multiple business units, each running different enterprise resource planning and back-end financial systems. Blockchain technology would enable the organization to create global data reconciliation and auditing systems that are trusted and verified across the entire company. This provides better visibility into corporate data, and enables the company to make more informed business decisions.
How to get started with blockchain
The blockchain market is evolving in the same way that the cloud computing market has played out. Multiple providers offer enterprise blockchain solutions. And just as most organizations today are taking a multicloud approach, it is likely that enterprises will end up working with more than one blockchain partner.
Executives should start thinking about business processes that could benefit from blockchain technology and should engage with an experienced technology advisor that can provide guidance on the best approach to blockchain.