Blockchain Explorers Seeking Competitive Edge, Says IBM

IBM’s Institute for Business Value just published a report with insight into some of the top business executives’ current views on blockchain technology. IBM conducted the largest study of its kind this year, interviewing nearly 3,000 executives worldwide that represent 20 different industries.

The report reveals one third has already adopted blockchain technology or are thinking about it. These blockchain “Explorers” say they are trying to adopt blockchain early so they can gain a competitive edge in their industry.

The blockchain Explorers are looking to the emerging technology for its ability to create trust and transparency. As one COO in the retail industry said, “A customer’s trust is hard-earned and easily lost. The blockchain era should bring about an explosion of transactions, legitimized by trust.”

The study revealed why companies want to align with the blockchain. Over half of all Explorers want to increase the transparency of transactions, trust in transaction reliability, and transaction speed. They also seek to minimize the cost of transactions, tighten cyber security, and ensure the accuracy of data.

Besides taking advantage of these benefits, the possibility of getting left behind is also a powerful force driving these innovators. One CMO stated: “Blockchain could replace the centralized business model that most companies follow today.” While this may be very exciting to an innovator, there are plenty of executives who are still on the fence about it.

Of those surveyed, 67% were not yet considering blockchain. But the blockchain is not ‘take it or leave it’. Its disruptive nature means it will revolutionize virtually every industry imaginable.

For instance, intermediaries between lenders and borrowers could become outdated, and consequently, the e-commerce model we know today could become nonexistent. Without the need of an intermediary, people can begin transacting directly between each other.

Today, business leaders are facing the enormous challenge of understanding and adapting to the rapidly changing environment of business. As IBM points out, gone are the days when companies only had to worry about new goods or services disrupting their industry and revenue streams.

Blockchain is here to stay and an increasing number of businesses are getting behind it. They have no choice but to adapt or get left behind.

Brigid McDermott, IBM VP for Blockchain Business Development, said “Consortia, regulators, and innovators will help create new standards across industries and geographies. Early adopters need to move fast to help shape how these platforms evolve.”

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