Doing business in a Blockchain native world
It’s been a very exciting couple of years for B3i, on a journey that started in the spring of 2016 at a round table event hosted by Allianz in Munich. At that first meeting I remember having a sense that there may be some real potential in Blockchain but also feeling rather cynical about it. While I can’t speak for the other people in attendance, I doubt anyone was absolutely certain about if and how this new technology would really impact our businesses. For sure we understood the mechanics of the technology, had observed the Bitcoin experiment and had listened to the rhetoric being pedalled by so many commentators, consultants and vendors, but no one was ready to bet the farm.
My own rite of passage from sceptic to believer took some time but as I write this, I can say with absolute certainty that I’m now a Blockchain convert. While it’s not quite time to go all in on Blockchain, I truly believe the impact of this technology can be very far reaching and I wanted to share my insights here. Before I do that, please forgive me for using the term Blockchain when in fact I’m mostly referring to Distributed Ledger Technologies and Networks, but you know how it is … Blockchain sells!
How Distributed Ledger Technology is changing the way that businesses interoperate
Distributed Ledger Technologies offer a new paradigm that enables companies to safely and transparently transact using shared applications and data in a way that was not possible before, removing error prone and wasteful data duplication, process duplication and the need for traditional integration. To understand this, let’s first consider the currently predominant models on which business networks operate.
Consider the following example of three companies doing business together across some value chain. Although there are mutual processes and sharing of data, each company implements their own version of the process and stores their own version of the data, sometimes in a consistent way supported by data standards but more often in an inconsistent way, requiring expensive, error prone data translation and integration. Even in the best-case scenario where all parties adhere to a common data and API based integration standard, there is still huge redundancy, potential latency issues and lack of trust that must be compensated for using wasteful processes such as reconciliations.
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Written by Alessandro Spadoni
Chief Innovation Architect, Zurich Insurance
Chief Architect , B3i