Do I need blockchain?
Seeing the potential, many tech companies have started to offer blockchain services to support company needs — but CSCOs should be cautious. Many mature technologies that already exist can accomplish some of the tasks that vendors may advertise. Be sure you’re only exploring blockchain technology for problems that actually need a blockchain solution.
For example, many companies have begun to explore the idea of a permissioned blockchain, as opposed to a completely decentralized blockchain. The permissioned blockchain is utilized by a group of known users who all agree what information will be shared ahead of time. However, in this example — and others — companies run the risk of using blockchain when another solution would be equally or even more useful.
Blockchain in supply chain
The increasing complexity of supply chain makes blockchain a good potential solution for three supply chain issues: Counterfeit, visibility/traceability and efficiency play. Raw materials and products in supply chains increasingly travel through multiple suppliers, manufacturers, geographical locations and stakeholders. This means that organizations handling the product or materials and other enterprises in the supply chain might not even be aware of possible issues.
Theoretically, enterprises should know every partner in the supply chain, but that may not be realistic in today’s world. Though adoption at scale is likely at least 10 years away or more, CSCOs should start to consider the potential application of blockchain within the enterprise, albeit with a heavy amount of skepticism.
Today, it’s not possible to simply go and purchase a blockchain tool, and many of the technology’s current vendors will probably be replaced by new and different providers. However, now is a good time to explore the technology alongside peers and begin formalized discussions about the applications of blockchain.