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5 Questions to Evaluate if Blockchain is Right for You

CIOs everywhere are talking blockchain, and for good reason. Gartner released in late October its top 10 technology trends for 2019 and sure enough – blockchain is on the list.

Banking corporations like Wells Fargo and Bank of America are early adopters. Everyone from Samsung, Apple and Microsoft, to Toyota, Walmart and Comcast – companies around the world are implementing the technology for their specific business.

So, everyone else is doing it; your company should too, right? Not necessarily.

While Gartner may have predicted it as a top trend, analysts also remind CIOs that blockchain isn’t for everyone. While blockchain is predicted to revolutionize the world economy, experts say implementation is still a long way off for the majority of enterprises.

If you’re considering blockchain, start by working through our quick checklist to help determine if blockchain is something to pursue right now.

Checklist: Is blockchain ready for you?

Does my business need to manage contractual relationships?

  • Yes, we work with suppliers, brokers, retailers, shippers, or other partners.

 Do we need to track multi-party transactions?

  • Yes, we currently have third-party validation to make sure different users can make transactions securely.

Is the current system complex or costly due to intermediaries?

  • Yes; for example, when our customer places an order and we have worked with multiple supply chains to produce the order, we hand it over to a forwarder who delivers it to the customers. It’s complex, particularly when something goes wrong, the customer isn’t happy, and we need to troubleshoot where the problem began.

Are there benefits from increased trust, transparency, and accountability in record keeping?

  • Yes, we store names, emails, addresses, credit card numbers and/or other private information that our customers and other contacts trust us to protect.

Are current systems prone to errors due to manual processes or duplication of effort?

  • Yes, we have a lengthy paperwork process that takes up our team members’ time – and also increases the chance for human error since it’s all manual input.

Evaluating Emerging Technologies

If you checked yes for any of these five questions, blockchain may be worth your consideration. Take note, we didn’t say it’s time to write a big-dollar check to start implementation. Rather, continue the research and discussion. Emerging technologies, like blockchain, are continuously evolving – and they’re not leaving us anytime soon. While an immediate next step may not result, knowing exactly what that next step is will separate the leaders from the laggards.