Is Blockchain so easy ?

December 1, 2017

In this blog, we convey an optimistic point of view regarding Blockchain and its future applications. We belong to this group of people that puts a lot of hope in the added value it will bring to many different type of operations.  Nevertheless, it is important to hear the voice of more sceptical people, who see quite a lot of roadblocks for the development of the Blockchain.

 

The first reason for scepticism regarding this new technology is that some feel that we will not know before years if the Blockchain will bring the promised step forward. So uncertainty and lack of visibility are reasons for not getting that enthusiastic. Combined to this, there is also a feeling that the level of expectations placed on the Blockchain is wrong, and that the Blockchain will not fix all issues of companies, as some might dream of.

 

In a Gartner article, Christy Pettey (1), speaking in particular about the potential of Blockchain to transform the Supply chain, mentions the current lack of standards and robust platform for operators to start a great transformation.

He also details that no existing “prepackaged” solutions do actually exist for  the supply chain, and only either “risk-tolerant” or early adoptors organization can currently start to build projects.

 

To complete this, Alan R.Earl (2), far from denying positive steps forward, points out first “that the Supply chain is a function that is very hard to change and adapt”. He adds that “companies take years to build up supply chain and that it is very difficult to insert a new technology because the integration challenges are huge”. 

Secondly, he believes that the changes brought by the Blockchain, require a “an up-grade of the legal expertise”. But according to him, legal representatives lack the necessary competencies, especially in the cryptocurrency environment, to embrace this whole new topic and support their client efficiently in such a transformation phase.

 

Another difficulty that can be seen is that a company might find difficult to live with different Blockchains and protocols for its different processes.

As a matter of fact, in some processes a company might be able to be a leader and impose its own model to its partners, but in other ones might need to follow the model imposed by other party. This might bring complexity when using the Blockchain in different areas of the business. Convergence, communication between blockchain will be a challenge for its adoption a big scale.

 

As a conclusion, technology being in early stage, legal issues, complexity to change some processes, can be seen as major roadblocks for a rapid adoption. Nevertheless, within Achaz we still strongly believe that it is necessary to become familiar with this technology, start to identify some (simple) use cases and initiate some trials to understand its pros and cons in ones own environment.

For sure, those tests will show difficulties, even may be some failures, but the technology is moving very fast and todays difficulties will probably be solved in a (very) short term.

 

So why wait ?

 

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References

 

1. http://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/5-things-supply-chain-leaders-should-know-about-blockchain/

By Christy Pettey

 

2. http://searchmanufacturingerp.techtarget.com/feature/Blockchain-not-a-panacea-for-supply-chain-traceability-transparency

By Alan R.Earl

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Articulo publicado en la Revista de AERCE de diciembre 2015

 

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