The “Wait and See” Approach on Blockchain is Changing to the “Here and Now.”
We are at the point where Blockchain is no longer a nice buzzword. The transition of big businesses towards Blockchain is ongoing and while there are pioneers, there will be businesses that are still in the “wait and see” approach as well as those of what I call “proactive thinkers”, which consists of executives and board members that are fully aware of Blockchain but are grounded in facing its reality: the business case of why the business must consider Blockchain and how will Blockchain transform the business.
This article is contributed by Mr. Randy Knutson of Dynaquest for our upcoming blockchain thought leaders series.
Blockchain transformation is a journey for the business and to everyone involved. More often than not, the Blockchain business agenda is initiated by the managing team, which is later supported by departments as an organizational initiative. Again, Blockchain is a journey and it includes the destination: the point where the enterprise has a fully-functioning Blockchain that delivers on-point its scoped out use case. Beyond that, Blockchain’s best asset to the business is its ability to scale with demands where business value is attained.
But before we look ahead to the journey and destination, we must look at our starting point, where we are and what’s going on in our industry. Truth be told, as a Blockchain adviser, much of the project’s resource is allocated in planning the journey. This is where business case studies are crafted and there is no room for even marginal error.
Burden of Knowledge
But even before that, when we think of Blockchain and its possibilities, there is the need to enrich your team’s knowledge about Blockchain. The technology is by no means an easy platform to grasp even with the surface knowledge available through resources that we can access online. Some executives would go to a Blockchain bootcamp and various knowledge building sessions with Blockchain consulting groups.
If you’re new to Blockchain and is interested in learning how it will benefit the business and how your industry is moving with it, be prepared with extensive hours of learning and reading:
- The basic principles of Blockchain
- Industry application
- Use cases
- Who are its early adopters?
- What are its cross-functional uses?
- Relevant statistics about Blockchain
- What’s being done by businesses similar to your scale?
Quite a lot to take in if you’re just exploring the term “Blockchain” and believe me, we’ve just scratched the general surface. Adam Greenfield, author of the book Radical Technologies describes Blockchain as a “just fundamentally difficult for otherwise intelligent and highly capable people to understand.” And that speaks volume of the steep learning curve of what lurks beneath Blockchain.
While the business assimilates knowledge about Blockchain and builds a solid business case, the industries that were once were burdened with manual processes in terms of redundancy, prone to stoppages and has an information gap in-between communication procedure, are increasingly turning to Blockchain as a solution. There is simply more awareness and interest with Blockchain compared to five years ago where when we speak of Blockchain, it is synonymously intrinsic with Bitcoin or Cryptocurrencies.
Pressure, It Trickles
While executives and managing teams are still in the leisurely stage of discovering Blockchain and its transformative effect, other CIOs, CEOs, board of directors and executives are experiencing mounting pressure to determine how Blockchain will enable cost-efficiency and increase the competitiveness of the enterprise. This is due to the trickle-down effect of consortiums and global corporations in working and demonstrating the potential of Blockchain. Early in the decade, one or two consortiums were conducting lab trials with Blockchain. As use cases have verified increased productivity, it was a turning moment for other global corporations to accomplish the same. As the race for Blockchain maturity is increasing in the top tier corporations, the competition will shift and start to intensify eventually to the big, medium and startup markets.
As Blockchain is adopted by big businesses and key players, its rate of maturity is being increased. That comes with benefits as the knowledge, statistics and verifiable accounts of ROI will be made more accessible to the public through annual reports or resource repositories.
Today, there is no shortage of resources or like-minded groups that an executive or manager can associate with in order to further their Blockchain agenda:
- Consortia and Blockchain Alliances – There are smaller consortia that are working with Blockchain and are actively seeking members. Consider these as the cooperation will yield mutual benefits. Often, this is where working partnerships are formed: often with tech providers and businesses who are embarking on a joint-venture to deploy Blockchain.
- Build Your Blockchain Network – This involves seeking out Blockchain speakers and consultants within your business circles. Connections such as technical correspondence on Blockchain will be needed in time with regard to procurement of resources needed to start Blockchain.
- Organize Your Blockchain Team – The Blockchain agenda may be initiated by one or two people within the organization but when it comes to its implementation, it is an organizational project. This early, you would want to select department managers, IT personnel and key process officers to start learning Blockchain as a group. You will be working as a team in the near future.
In gearing up your knowledge and preparing your business case with Blockchain’s key benefits, you are keeping pace with the rest of the business world. The statistics may surprise you: according to the survey results of KPMG, 48% of C-Level executives believe that Blockchain will transform the way they do business. Still on the survey, 41% said that there is a distinct possibility that they will implement Blockchain in the near future. Furthermore, the Deloitte survey of more than 1,000 Blockchain savvy executives, 74% believed there is a compelling business case for Blockchain adoption and 84% believe that Blockchain will achieve mainstream adoption.
Blockchain is not a race. In technology, there will always be early adopters, the wait and see observers and the latecomers. As the old saying goes: “Slow and steady wins the race,” and it holds true in looking at where your business is now. Blockchain use cases are achieved by a careful and thorough business case study. Once formulated, that business case becomes the basis of finding a provider or technical partner in developing the Blockchain architecture to support or overhaul existing business processes. Outside of industry generalizations, asking yourself today: “What does Blockchain mean to my business and my competitors?” it is a prudent and cautious approach in the undertaking of Blockchain agendas. The question takes into consideration various levels of awareness when it comes to the technology. If you find yourself unaware or find your knowledge lacking, by all means, enhance and enrich it. If you have a good grasp of Blockchain, then your next course of action is what to do with that knowledge. If you’ve invested time and resources in Blockchain business cases, then you’re ready for exploring which type of Blockchain will work best with the business.