Blockchain isn’t the tool of tomorrow; it’s the tool of today. Industries already are reimagining business models with this technology. Leading organizations have rolled out commercial blockchain solutions, and many others are following suit. Those who haven’t started investing in it risk falling behind their competitors.
The IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) is publishing a series of reports that explores how organizations in various industries are putting it to work. In partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit, we surveyed more than 1,000 executives globally about their organizations’ blockchain strategies. Businesses that already are investing in blockchains anticipate big returns. A group of first movers – the Trailblazers – indicated they would implement solutions at scale within a year. They believe blockchains will bring a variety of benefits, from time- and cost-savings to the potential for new business models.
A few key trends have begun to emerge:
Organizations across industries say they plan to invest in a wide range of use cases by 2018.
More than 80 percent of all government executives surveyed say they are planning to invest in every business area by 2018. Investment patterns of financial markets firms surveyed revealed their priority is to solve problems created by new regulations. Blockchain early adopters may use these investments to determine where they can attain the greatest benefits at commercial scale.
Different industries want to address different challenges.
Many organizations see tremendous benefits in the reduction of cost, time and risk across business processes. But different industries are working to solve different challenges. Electronics industry experts identified the growing complexity in supply chains and business networks as one of their greatest challenges. Blockchains potentially could address that through improved visibility. Healthcare and government executives say they are primarily focused on using blockchains to resolve issues accessing trusted information across their network parties in a secure manner.
Companies expect to control who joins their blockchain network.
In fact, more than 80 percent of all executives surveyed indicated that they need to have some control over who could participate in their business networks. Organizations may recognize that they can benefit from blockchain initiatives only if the right parties with the correct permission are a part of blockchain networks.
Organizations are moving from pilots and proof of concepts to larger implementations of blockchains, so we will continue to explore this progression. The IBV surveyed more than 3,000 C-suite executives globally to learn how they view this technology. And we are talking to experts at IBM and in the marketplace about important blockchain functions, such as identity.
You can find our flagship study on blockchain and insights on how blockchain is revolutionizing trade, banking, financial markets, healthcare, government, and electronics, in our library. Watch this blog for updates as additional reports become available.