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Blockchain’s great potential

Blockchain’s potential is immense, but most organizations have not yet made the investment.

By ·

Blockchain, or distributed ledger technology, has become well known among some circles because of its relationship to bitcoin. Conceived as a way to record transactions among those involved in a transaction without the use of financial institutions, blockchain’s secure technology has additional applications in the business world. In a recent APQC survey of supply chain professionals, about one-third indicated that blockchain has the potential to create a competitive advantage for their organizations over the next 10 years. About 10% of respondents felt that blockchain would be a potential disruptor for their industry within the same time period.

However, there is a gap between the enthusiasm of organizations familiar with blockchain and its potential, and the opinions of organizations that have had little exposure to the concept of blockchain. A recent study conducted by the Digital Supply Chain Institute (DSCI) at the Center for Global Enterprise, in partnership with APQC, revealed that over one-third of supply chain professionals surveyed are either extremely or moderately unfamiliar with blockchain. Some organizations have begun investigating blockchain and considering its uses for their business, but they are still exercising caution as they weigh the potential benefits of this technology against the barriers to its implementation.

The technology and its current use

Blockchain technology enables each data element recorded in a ledger to be encrypted in a block. These blocks are chained together across a network accessible to the entities involved in the transactions (these could be suppliers, customers or any other key business partners). A collective agreement on the transactions that take place across the network is reached among the entities through a consensus algorithm. Once a consensus is reached, the data for the transactions cannot be changed and becomes the data of record. The storage of data across the network, rather than in one place, and the inability to change data make blockchain a secure way of recording transactions. For the supply chain, this means more consistent records rather than the disputes and corrections that occur for many organizations. This technology also has applications for any tracking that occurs in the supply chain because it enables organizations to maintain accurate and secure data among partners.

This complete article is available to subscribers only. Log in now for full access or start your PLUS+ subscription for instant access.

By ·

Blockchain, or distributed ledger technology, has become well known among some circles because of its relationship to bitcoin. Conceived as a way to record transactions among those involved in a transaction without the use of financial institutions, blockchain’s secure technology has additional applications in the business world. In a recent APQC survey of supply chain professionals, about one-third indicated that blockchain has the potential to create a competitive advantage for their organizations over the next 10 years. About 10% of respondents felt that blockchain would be a potential disruptor for their industry within the same time period.

However, there is a gap between the enthusiasm of organizations familiar with blockchain and its potential, and the opinions of organizations that have had little exposure to the concept of blockchain. A recent study conducted by the Digital Supply Chain Institute (DSCI) at the Center for Global Enterprise, in partnership with APQC, revealed that over one-third of supply chain professionals surveyed are either extremely or moderately unfamiliar with blockchain. Some organizations have begun investigating blockchain and considering its uses for their business, but they are still exercising caution as they weigh the potential benefits of this technology against the barriers to its implementation.

The technology and its current use

Blockchain technology enables each data element recorded in a ledger to be encrypted in a block. These blocks are chained together across a network accessible to the entities involved in the transactions (these could be suppliers, customers or any other key business partners). A collective agreement on the transactions that take place across the network is reached among the entities through a consensus algorithm. Once a consensus is reached, the data for the transactions cannot be changed and becomes the data of record. The storage of data across the network, rather than in one place, and the inability to change data make blockchain a secure way of recording transactions. For the supply chain, this means more consistent records rather than the disputes and corrections that occur for many organizations. This technology also has applications for any tracking that occurs in the supply chain because it enables organizations to maintain accurate and secure data among partners.

 


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Article Topics

Benchmarks · Blockchain · All Topics
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