Blockchain isn’t even close to finishing its hype cycle run. According to Forbes, the keyword “blockchain” has increased by 250% in Google Trends over the course of just one year. The blockchain market is predicted to increase in value from $708 million in 2017 to $60 billion by 2024. Today, there are over 50 publicly traded companies utilizing blockchain, including...Disney? So, how do business leaders get into utilizing blockchain as a tool to take their business to the next level?
Understand the Appeal
The buzz around blockchain is not enough to make a concrete decision on integrating new technology into workflows. So how do you know you’re making a wise investment of your time and money?
Mike Talbot, a Frontier podcast guest and the CTO of Veracity Consulting, where he leads their data and emerging technologies practices, is educating and guiding business leaders in implementing blockchain into their business. To understand the appeal, he recommends reading through the “hype”:
Mike: "Separate the real message and the reality of what it is and where it's going to be in a year, where it's going to be in five years, from all the noise and from all the hype in, certainly, the crypto side of it. If it delivers what it promises ─ you are going to be doing business faster at a lower cost with much more transparency."
There are many resources available for understanding blockchain’s place in business, including Mike’s book A Brief Description of Blockchain: Why It Matters In The Real World.
What is it used for?
Some uses for blockchain in business:
Supply chain management
Retail loyalty points
Patient records in healthcare
Executing & recording transactions
Copyright & royalty transparency
Make A Decision
Once business leaders are secure in the first step in the understanding of blockchain, the next step is figuring out which blockchain technology is most impactful to your company based on your needs.
Business leaders need low-risk options, proof of concept, and prototypes to consult in making a decision. Mike mentions a specific decision-making matrix:
Mike: "Is this particular use case well suited to be in a distributed ledger technology platform? What's the risk? What kind of consensus model are we going to use? What do your actors look like? Do you have known participants or is it more public and wide open? Are you going to be using smart contracts right out of the gate?"
This decision-making is vital, as choosing the wrong blockchain technology for your company’s need can do more damage than good.
Make A Connection
Then, it's a matter of connecting your legacy system or your legacy process to that particular blockchain. If you are more on the business side without the chops for programming, you’re going to want to hire an engineer that can do this. It is no small task, and as this is the last step of the process it’s imperative. Interested in transitioning from your legacy system to blockchain?