Blockchain has the potential to support business digital strategies and transformation
There has been plenty of hype around the possibility and potential of blockchain, an emerging technology that’s complicated to explain and even more complex to understand. According to Gartner, the emerging technology’s potential may be there, but few Chief Information Officers (CIOs) have put it on their agenda or anywhere near their spend. In fact, in a recent analysis entitled ‘The Reality of Blockchain’, Gartner revealed that only 5% of CIOs have rated blockchain as a gamechanger.
That said, blockchain is emerging from beneath the cryptocurrency shadow where it first rose to prominence and may very likely disrupt more than one way of doing business. Here are five that stand out…
01: Human Resources
The Human Resources (HR) department is driven by technology. With the balancing of employee volumes, needs, rights, payments and status comes the need for systems that can track individuals and their data with exceptional accuracy. Blockchain can potentially streamline HR processes and minimise fraud by protecting data, managing and securing payroll, and securing personal data to ensure absolute compliance.
The financial services sector has already invested into the potential of blockchain. The ability to securely and transparently manage complex contractual obligations and ownership contracts is priceless in this space. Blockchain provides a secure, tamper-proof, digital trail that can be used to assure customer and institution of absolute visibility. It is also the foundation for numerous startups that are disrupting this weighty, traditional space with inventive solutions to make banking accessible to everyone.
03: Smart contracts
The use of blockchain to manage smart and secure contracts isn’t limited to financial services. With blockchain, any organisation can use the technology to create infallible contracts that reduce fraud and secure the data. The added advantage of blockchain is that it can be used to reduce the costs currently associated with contract development in the business arena – smart contracts cost less to create, can be managed in real time, and are less likely to be influenced by third-party errors or fraud. The fact that nobody can amend any one blockchain-powered smart contract without the permission of all other parties is also a powerful added advantage.
Blockchain’s ubiquity makes it an ideal companion for the accounting profession. It supports the professional in managing complex tax code specifications and business operations that demand absolute precision. Blockchain can manage many of the processes within the profession, providing a layer of efficiency and capability that supports the profession significantly.
05: Supply chain management
Managing the logistics of the supply chain is as complex a task as managing the numbers of an organisation. No matter how robust the processes or the technology, shipments can go missing, orders can be misplaced and theft remains a challenge. Blockchain is transparent and incapable of being corrupted – these qualities offer the supply chain the opportunity to add an extra layer of transparency and accountability to supply chain management.