Oversight from senior executives can ensure blockchain benefits entire organizations.
A company’s executives can establish its culture as one of integrity. Often, what leadership needs to accomplish their vision is an atmosphere of trust: trust between employees and leadership; trust between the company and its customers; and trust that a company’s operations are proceeding securely – especially its financial operations.
A secure system that protects the payment platforms of a business is essential in the digital economy. Blockchain promises that security. It has been described in layman’s terms as “a stored database with contracts added in.” A recent InfoDesk article further explores this definition and other aspects of the technology.
So far, blockchain has been most widely adopted by the financial services industry, but major corporations of all kinds are also experimenting with it. Leadership teams in any sector should already be considering blockchain’s impact. It may soon force executives to rethink roles of entire departments and employees throughout entire organizations.
Blockchain could take the place of intermediaries (or “middlemen”) in the professional economy. One value added by using intermediaries is the inherent security advantages of transactions between human beings. Blockchain, by being trustworthy enough to minimize the need for intermediaries, could play a dramatic role in reshaping the business world. It might allow transactions that exchange information or value directly and more easily because those transactions can now be trusted – without human aid.
The security of blockchain could streamline operations generally, making roles such as accounting and invoicing more efficient. It might also facilitate commercial contracts, allowing them to be triggered by predefined events and conditions. This could enable the use of machines to purchase and record more and more transactions. Already the shift is happening in the marketplace. For example, a New York-based energy market firm TransActive Grid allows consumers to buy and sell their surplus renewable energy directly to their neighbors using blockchain to verify the transactions.
Blockchain technology is still evolving. So far it is being used for greater security and cost efficiency, but many other ways it can return on investment are still being explored. Though the largest blockchain, Bitcoin, is widely used, most are only beginning to develop. The regulations that could be placed on this technology are also a legitimate concern.
The security offered by blockchain has the potential to create opportunities by streamlining operations across the business world. Blockchain could be a way for leadership to automate and eliminate the roles of many business professionals – a “white collar” counterpart to robotics’ impact on the manufacturing sector. Or it could be an extension of executives’ integrity, positively affecting every part of a company that requires trust to function.
CEOs should take note now: the future of blockchain will be written by executives who can lead efforts across the multiple departments that it will change. Without hesitation, leadership teams should begin to assess the risks and rewards of the blockchain technology, establish a strategy for its future use, and enact changes before unwanted changes are forced upon them.