Blockchain trends and expected impact: Enhancing security around your digital operations
Blockchain refers to a digital database containing information (such as records of financial transactions) that can be simultaneously used and shared within a large decentralized, publicly accessible network. Each block in the blockchain cannot be changed or removed once the transaction occurs which allows it to be recorded in a publicly verifiable and permanent way.
Blockchain functions more as a building block rather than a tangible product, and most small- and medium-sized businesses will not need to understand blockchain specifics if they are not directly developing new applications.
Rather, they will invest in new blockchain-based applications and their labor needed to manage the applications as vendors leverage their benefits in cost, security, or agility.
According to Deloitte, some of the blockchain trends for 2020 are:
- Blockchain hype is slowing. As the blockchain technology matures, there has been a shift away from hype-driven experimentation to the more serious evaluation and development of robust solutions designed to solve real business challenges.
- Pragmatic developers of blockchain technology are emerging as leaders. While the use cases for enterprise blockchain may vary by industry, developers are focusing on a unique combination of features between decentralization, security, and scalability. While these features have tradeoffs, the right combination will enable enterprise use cases.
- Blockchain industry applicability continues to become more diversified. While initial reports suggested that financial services will see the greatest ROI, other industries like technology, media, life sciences, healthcare, and manufacturing are emerging with varied use cases.
Current state of blockchain adoption
Blockchain use cases
Security in general is experiencing disruption as companies re-evaluate their approach, so it is no surprise to see that firms are exploring blockchain as a way of confirming digital identity or keeping an audit trail for compliance. Of course, new blockchain vulnerabilities will likely be discovered as it becomes a more significant platform for attackers, but it still holds the potential to provide enhanced security around digital operations.
Common business practices such as asset management and contract agreements may also benefit from blockchain. By redefining consensus and validation, unneeded layers can be removed from the processes, making them more streamlined.
Finally, companies are exploring the use of blockchain for distributed data storage. A change to storage methodology is one of the top issues that IT teams deal with during cloud transitions, and blockchain storage provides a potential option for enhancing storage practices.
Blockchain business benefits
While blockchain as a whole is still relatively in its infancy, its business value is starting to be estimated or realized across relevant industries.
- Blockchain based “distributed ledger technology” can reduce trade finance operating costs 50% to 80%.
- The combination of internet of things (IoT) and blockchain technology can enable annual supply chain savings in logistics and storage between 0.4% to 0.8% of revenues.
- According to Samsung, using blockchain in its own supply chain will result in cost savings of 20%.
- IBM found a 50% reduction in administrative costs when on-boarding new suppliers.
Ways blockchain is used among early adopters
References: Deloitte, 5 Blockchain Trends for 2020 Bain and Co, Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Disruption Ahead for Transaction Banking BCG, Pairing Blockchain with IoT to Cut Supply Chain Costs Bloomberg, Samsung jumps on blockchain bandwagon Reuters, IBM and other companies launch new blockchain network for supply management
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