If you're a bank or a warehouse, blockchains might be really useful to you. Source: Shutterstock

If you’re a bank or a warehouse, blockchains might be really useful to you. Source: Shutterstock

Is the blockchain right for your business?

BLOCKCHAIN technology is really exciting and has taken the world by storm. However, by far, it’s also the technology that is least understood — by customers and managers alike.

Yes, the technology offers transparency and makes it possible for businesses to track and trace the whereabouts of their goods, but is it right for every business? Maybe not.

Further, although the technology might not be at the core of tomorrow’s business solutions, many of today’s business managers think it could help solve some of their problems — be it in finance, human resources, or the supply chain.

In the past year, several businesses announced that they’re working on blockchain solutions, statistics suggest that not many will be able to actually scale it up across the enterprise.

The reality is that most blockchain projects don’t move past the pilot phase, and for good reason — blockchain isn’t the right technology to solve the problem.

Many experts have said in the past that not every blockchain use case on the market really needs blockchain. Conversely, not every problem businesses face can be solved with blockchain.

Bankers, supply chain managers, and consumer goods specialists, however, will disagree.

To many bankers, the blockchain is quite a strong and efficient technology. In fact, with more banks jumping on the blockchain bandwagon over the past few weeks — especially the big names in the industry such as Standard Chartered and HSBC — the technology seems to have proved its potential there.

The same is the case with those in the consumer packaged goods (CGP) industry and those managing supply chains.

Blockchains solve the trust deficit problem that arises in many industries today — and although these solutions need help from 5G and the internet of things (IoT), these professionals are quick to suggest that the technology holds promise.

Although not many companies are talking about their experience with blockchain, case studies and announcements every now and then suggest that some of the biggest CPG and shipping companies are experimenting with the blockchain.

So, the question remains: How do businesses know if the blockchain is right for them?

Well, to be honest, blockchains only work in an ecosystem. Hence, businesses shouldn’t think of the blockchain in isolation.

Business leaders, especially those tasked with digital transformation, must think of the technology as a tool in their arsenal that can help create more efficiencies, craft better experiences, and revolutionize the company and the industry.

If they’re convinced and can find sufficient proof that the use case really needs the blockchain, then the solution is probably worth pursuing.