Understanding the potential of new technology for your business
Blockchain technology offers a wide range of benefits to businesses and individuals that operate within the public and private sector. The fact that blockchain has the power to significantly simplify and streamline a number of processes, whilst ensuring transparency and authenticity at every step, is proving to be an irresistible allure for many.
Over the last few years, blockchain technology has shifted from being something that was only understood by programmers and developers, to something that is being adopted throughout offices and businesses around the world. What we are seeing now is a digital revolution akin to the birth of the internet in the early 90s. This new technology is set to completely overhaul the way the world works, in a number of different ways.
The blockchain is a system of distributed ledgers that aim to increase levels of transparency via decentralisation. But how can this exciting and disruptive technology be incorporated into the day-to-day running of a business?
The blockchain keeps a completely incorruptible list of data transactions and records in completely chronological order. Once inputted on the blockchain, the record cannot be deleted, edited, or amended in any way, meaning that they are protected from tampering or fraud. Each entry is linked to the previous and subsequent blocks via a cryptographically secure algorithm which means, once data has been entered and validated, it cannot be altered.
Prevention of data siloing
Whilst this is great for financial transactions in institutions, it also has a big benefit for smaller businesses. One issue that presents itself in businesses of any size is data siloing. This is where each party in a particular transaction hold their own version of the data, separated from others resulting in a situation where different data sets about the same topic can be stored within just one organisation.
The fact that entries on the blockchain are not editable means that using the blockchain can provide previously unseen levels of provenance. This is also very useful in businesses that require surety around where a product or raw materials come from. It is also handy to ascertain which individuals have been involved in the lifecycle of a product, meaning there are greater levels of accountability.
In addition to these features, the fact that many laborious tasks can now be automated through the use of smart contracts is a huge bonus for businesses of every type. Companies that rely on the execution of contracts, complex logistical processes, or even hiring procedures that require the sign off of multiple parties, can all benefit from implementing blockchain technology. This not only increases transparency but it significantly improves operational efficiency and lowering costs.
Over the next 12 months, we expect to see a big increase in the numbers of small businesses that adopt off the shelf blockchain-based solutions for their business needs.
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