The rise of cryptocurrencies has in turn raised the profile of the blockchains, the underlying technology that many cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin operate on, which is rapidly becoming more relevant in the context of the modern enterprise.
Blockchain is not only about cryptocurrencies. It is also about new ways of using IT to enable the business because – at its core – blockchain is a record-keeping technology that is designed to make it impossible to hack or forge the data on it.
Because the blockchain is secure and immutable, many industries are exploring blockchain-based applications as a secure and cost-effective way to create and manage distributed databases and maintain records for all types of digital transactions.
As a result, there has been a fair amount of hype around blockchain, which is a type of distributed ledger technology (DLT), with some vendors jumping on the blockchain bandwagon and claiming that it is capable of solving a wide array of problems.
However, not all these claims are true or accurate, making it difficult for organizations to identify real use cases for blockchain, and find useful, practical, and effective ways of applying the technology to support the business.
It is therefore important for organizations to ensure they have a good understanding of how blockchain works, what it can and can’t do, and how best it can be applied to benefit the business. These uses include managing supply chains, facilitating asset transfers, and access control.
Blockchain adds value to an enterprise when its strengths in decentralization, chronological and immutable data storage, and automatized actions are put to work. However, organizations also need to be aware if blockchain’s weaknesses to avoid running into difficulties.
As a rule, enterprises are recommended to use authenticated, permissioned blockchains with relatively high scalability and stricter privacy. And if deployed correctly, blockchains have the capacity to offer significant improvements to inter-enterprise communication and trust.
It is important for organizations to remember that the blockchain solutions that are designed for enterprise use cases are still relatively new, and applying cutting edge solutions without careful planning, is a risk.
Blockchain technology – as the hype advertises – can be a value-adding solution for businesses and individuals. However, it is necessary to separate blockchain’s functionality from its fame before a firm can strategically implement it.
— Anne Bailey Senior Analyst KuppingerCole
Because we understand how important it is to understand the business benefits of blockchain technology, and because we are committed to helping your business succeed, KuppingerCole has a great deal of content in a variety of formats available.
This includes live online events, such as the KCLive Enterprise Blockchain Day on 13 October. Register today for this free event next week for your opportunity to gain fresh insights into the state of enterprise blockchain, to explore industry-specific use-cases, and to understand best practices for deploying blockchain initiatives at your organization.
For an analysis of the main features that make blockchains unique from traditional database software, and that identifies the ways that blockchain can be used to address the pre-existing issues in a database, read this Advisory Note entitled: Demystifying the Blockchain: What Makes a Blockchain Useful to a Firm?
Blockchain technology is one of the enablers of digital transformation, and this can be seen in the healthcare sector. For more details on the suitability of blockchain technology, use cases, and implications of deployment in the healthcare industry, have a look at chapter five of this advisory note on Emerging Technologies Fostering Digital Business Innovation: Healthcare.
Similarly, have a look at this advisory on Blockchain Impact on the Financial Industry for an overview of the benefits and use case of blockchain for this industry sector, and this Market Compass report on Emerging Technologies Fostering Digital Business Innovation: Finance Industry, which provides insight on how to respond to the changes in the financial services industry, with a focus on FinTechs and their use of blockchain and other disruptive technologies.
If you would prefer to listen to what our analysts have to say about blockchain technology and its business applications, listen to this video blog that asserts that Blockchain is more than Bitcoin or this analyst chat on Emerging Technologies in Healthcare - Solutions and Use Cases.
And for a perspective on blockchain applications in the energy sector, listen to this presentation by KCLive speaker, Christoph Burger of the ESMT Berlin business school on Blockchain: From Processes to Hybrid Platforms - The Case of the Energy Industry.
Focusing on the finance industry, Principal Analyst Martin Kuppinger looks at where and how blockchain and other technologies can help to solve the challenges of digitization in this presentation on New Technologies, New Challenges, New Opportunities: Finding The Right Balance.
With a focus on wider business applications of blockchain technology, listen to investor, advisor and author William Mougayar speaking about how to think about new block-chain based business models in this presentation on the State of Business in Blockchains.
Our analysts have also blogged about blockchain applications for the business. For observations on a specific use case for blockchain implementation in the finance industry, take a look at this blog post entitled: Blockchains go mainstream – IBM and Crédit Mutuel Arkéa blockchain implementation for KYC.
Staying with the finance industry, look at these blogs entitled: Blockchains and Their Impact on the Finance Industry, Will blockchains really change the finance industry?, and Distributed Ledger Use Cases in the Financial Industry.
Blockchain technologies are often associated with security and identity use cases, but each of these topics will be examined in detail in future editions of KC Navigator. However, here are two webinars on these topics that will be of interest:
- Blockchain ID for the Enterprise: A Single ID? A Good Complement? Or Irrelevant?
- The Blockchain and Information Security
And before we talk about investing in blockchain technologies, here is a webinar that could be useful in that regard: Blockchain - How to Separate the Hype from Reality.
Organizations interested in investing in blockchain-related technologies, can have a look at some of the related technology solutions that we have evaluated: