Blockchain 2020: Last week, a new article by CEO Arman Sarhaddar, inventor of ivault, was published on it-daily.net – a German platform for the latest news on IT, technological innovations and digitalization trends.
The Distrubuted Ledger Technology (DLT), better known as blockchain, is evolving from a niche to a mainstream application. We already noticed this clearly emerging trend at the World Economic Forum (WEF 2020).
This blog entry will provide you, as one of our English readers, with a translation of Arman Sarhaddar’s expert insights and some more facts and figures, you should not miss.
Blockchain 2020: Moving to the next level
Anyone who has ever dealt with the topic of blockchain knows that the technology offers a number of advantages. In B2B business, it provides greater transparency, simplified processes and cost savings. Therefore, it is also relevant for the end consumer – for example, when tracking supply chains and production conditions and providing proof of ownership and product authenticity.
Earlier this year we already informed you that CIO Applications from Silicon Valley ranked us as one of the TOP blockchain solution providers 2020 (see certificate). Therefore we can proudly say that we, Vault Security Systems AG, are one of the pioneering companies when it comes to blockchain solutions of the future.
Now that the initial hype about Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) has subsided somewhat, more and more applications are coming into use.
However, it is also becoming apparent that there is still a need for clarification, and that blockchain solutions cannot always be seamlessly integrated into existing software and processes.
1. Small enterprises are still hesitant
… but should not wait too long.
The 2019 Bitkom study (see below) on blockchain in Germany found that respondents viewed the technology with suspicion (9 percent) and curiosity (12 percent) at the same time.
It also shows that the size of the company is decisive for whether it has already dealt with the topic in terms of content. Especially in small and medium-sized companies, the blockchain often competes with other technologies for innovation budgets.
The figures below show the application of blockchain and other digital technologies in companies with more than 50 employees:
In the figure above you can see the companies’ size and how many percent of these companies already use the blockchain (blue), how many plan to do so (black), whether application is being discussed (dark grey) or not (grey – this is the case for most companies). No answer/no data (light grey).
Decisions are sometimes made in favor of Cloud Computing and Big Data & Analytics, which are already tried and tested more often, as you can see in the figure above. Therefore, there is an increased risk of missing the boat in regard to blockchain technology, especially for SMEs.
After all, catching up later will be much more difficult and time-consuming on a tight budget. Consequently, it makes sense for small and medium-sized companies to take a closer look at the technology now, identifying areas of application.
2. Cooperation with blockchain specialists makes sense
The Bitkom study points out the strategic approach of companies already using blockchain technology. In addition, most of them are open for consulting and cooperation: Almost two thirds of the companies (63 percent) implement the blockchain together with partners or at least plan to do so.
This decision is particularly important because skilled workers with blockchain competence are still rare, but in great demand. Instead of bringing the expertise in-house, it is therefore more appropriate to work with a specialized partner.
Of course, solutions can still be tailored to the respective needs. A reputable blockchain provider not only supports companies as a technology partner, but also plays an advisory role.
3. Blockchain 2020: On the way to mainstream application
Despite the hitherto hesitant attitude towards DLT, especially in small and medium-sized companies, the technology is clearly on the way to broad application in very different industrial sectors.
A recent global Deloitte study (see below) on the status of blockchain 2020 shows that something is slowly changing. Decision-makers no longer see the technology as merely groundbreaking and promising, but are now treating it as an important part of their company’s transformation and innovation.
According to the Hype Cycle described by the IT research and consulting firm Gartner, distributed ledger technology is thus out of the valley of disappointment. We are now in a phase, where understanding is increasing and companies are implementing or testing the technology: the slope to enlightenment.
The Deloitte study depicts this development over time:
This is blockchain 2020: 86 percent of those surveyed already stated that their company management believes in real efficiency gains through blockchain technology in their own company. Two years earlier, the figure was only three quarters. Similarly, 83 percent believe that their own company will lose a competitive advantage if DLT is not applied (2018: 68 percent).
4. Use cases should be thoroughly examined
The attitude towards blockchain technology is thus increasingly characterized by a differentiated (a more comprehensively informed) view, while at the same time confidence and optimism are increasing.
Nevertheless, it is crucial to approach the technology in a considered and prudential way, instead of simply adorning oneself with the term. Some proven applications are already being used for example in logistics and supply chain, and can therefore be quantified economically.
In fact, compared to for example the financial industry, the practical implementation in those areas is already further ahead, although less of a prominent topic.
Some applications receive a lot of attention nowadays and are slowly becoming more commonly used. There are numerous possibilities to integrate DLT into your own business model in a meaningful way. Exciting application scenarios exist in various areas, such as: verification (authentication or data verification) or insurance.
The best conditions for a profitable adaptation of blockchain 2020 are provided by companies that approach the topic with openness and willingness to innovate and that acquire the necessary expertise – either through clever recruiting or with a competent partner.