Block chain: crystallizing the revolution ahead

Among strategic angles developed by this blog, the Innovation Index consolidates a wide variety of technical and marketing views around a specific innovation trends. Following the assessment of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and the Internet of Things, we are now analyzing the innovation impact of blockchain. The three-dimensional approach of this tool enables to observe differing approaches to blockchain by sector, assessing the results of industries intending to align their cultures around sharing open and seamless informations.

Blockchain is outlined by specialists as a technology enabling cross-sectors benefits for security, transparency and trust in information sharing. From agriculture and banking sectors, innovation experts outline how the openness and seamlessness of blockchain makes the difference between past and future ways of sharing information. As a growing number of business and technology experts jointly develop blockchain through a learning by doing type of attitude, this ledger technology drives a number of systemic innovation intents, placing blockchain at the heart of a social and technological disruption outlining a critical need to align cultures, tools, and initiatives on human centric needs.

Hard fact analysis : A cultural shift to security, transparency and trust?

Innovation Index blockchain market attractiveness.001

On a value-chain impact analysis viewpoint, it seems widely admitted for experts that technologies such as blockchain can drastically change transactional security but also organizational structures that support an “old world” approach to information sharing. By securing information between users and opening the chain to external reading, Blockchain distributed ledger would reshape entire industries such as banking, where trials and tests are currently being run to secure sensitive user data. It is the ability of such industries to adapt to rapid disruption that conditions the full potential of blockchain across sectors. 

<< In the next couple of years, a number of services usually billed to users by banks will become less relevant because of blockchain: international money transfers, clearing activities, and maybe one day, trading itself.>> 

Lire plus:Vous ne comprenez rien à la Blockchain? On vous explique“, Luc de Barochez, Capital

 

Impact Rate Est. value
Negative: Experts have recently outlined management difficulties in anticipating disruption at the company culture level. Medium -2

 

The transparency and security allowed by Blockchain proves relevant in a number of applications, including for the agricultural world. Journalists outline that blockchain value lays in allowing to track products from farmers to consumers, thanks to consolidated and dynamic information flows that could open new food and health security activities. The potential benefit is to strengthen transparency across the food industry. In return, this organized information would restore trust between producers and markets. 

<< Thanks to tools such as Blockchain combined to IoT, it will quickly become possible to obtain, at a low cost and high trust degree, information on contamination sources, the origins of goods (sustainable fishing, farming type…), the authentification of logos (organic agriculture, fair agriculture…). >>

Lire plus:La Blockchain est dans le pré“, Maud Vincent, Maddyness

 

Impact Rate Est. value
Positive: Experts highlight the necessity of developing smart initiatives leading to develop transparency and knowledge sharing with systemic impact while respecting natural environments High +3

 

Renewing trust is another benefit sought by different sectors to reshape relationships with their stakeholders. Technology experts explain how digital government initiatives seek to develop identity programs based on Blockchain to better control information shared with citizens and properly identify digital users to interact them in new ways. Beyond the organizational and democratic impact of such developments, it is the very culture of information sharing between individuals and authorities that is questioned by Blockchain. 

<<The fusion of the Blockchain and Digital Identity, will play a keystone role in enabling advanced Digital Government features like a unique Blockchain Identity, as is described in this video, where they propose they’re implementing the first Blockchain ID.>>

Read more:A Blockchain Framework“, Larry Alton, Jason Trovela, Harry Trott, PagerDuty Blog, Yeshim Deniz, Java Sys Con

 

Impact Rate Est. value
Positive: Citizens increase their influence on public policy making through new digital tools, yet the impact of messages beyond words remains limited without proper organizational support and cultural adaptation Low +1
WAI Comments and Analysis
The business model disruption driven by blockchain highlights a need for a wide variety of industries to adapt their information sharing models and cultures to an open and secured approach to data transmission between intermediaries of an entire value chain. Specific and identified applications hold the potential to drastically improve transparency, security and trust. The systemic impact of blockchain necessitates to assess the cultural shift to undertake in order to fully benefit from its cross-sector disruption. The initial hard fact analysis rate of blockchain therefore reaches 1.1/5.

Key market trends impact: Defining past and future data governance models

Innovation Index blockchain market attractiveness.002

Other ledgers allow a similar security, transparency, transparent and dynamic information sharing with the potential to improve quality and accuracy of services in healthcare. Specific market players such as Google DeepMind are developing their own blockchain type of approach to enable hospitals exchange and view patients’ records, in a less decentralized way, to concentrate efforts on understanding data. This view enables to identify differing approaches to governance transparency of data storage. 

<< The technology involves blockchain participants burning astronomical amounts of energy – by some estimates as much as the nation of Cyprus – in an effort to ensure that a decentralised ledger can’t be monopolised by any one group.>>

Read more:Google DeepMind plans bitcoin-style record tracking for hospitals“, Alex Hern, The Guardian

 

Impact Rate of Impact WAI est. value
Positive: The flexibility allowed by the structural approach of blockchain type of ledgers enable to develop concurrent proofs of concepts to adapt to specific needs Low +1

 

The multiplicity of experimentations driven around blockchain in the healthcare sector highlights the improvement potentials such technology could deliver to critical decision-making and knowledge sharing. As academic experts remind, the fact that those plans remain at the experimentation stage also reflects its adaptation requirements to be fully compliant with a skill, culture and infrastructure complexity it still needs to navigate. Because it will drastically reshape healthcare information systems, experimentations draw a growing attention to the openness of developments so they smartly adapt to its informational environment. 

<<Blockchain for health care is very early in its lifecycle, but it has the potential to standardize secure data exchange in a less burdensome way than previous approaches.>>

Read more: “The Potential for Blockchain to Transform Electronic Health Records“, John D. Halamka, MD, Andrew Lippman, Ariel Ekblaw, HBR

 

 

Impact Rate of Impact WAI est. value
Positive: Experts outline the need for enterprise-grade platforms to connect relevant knowledge and expertise with relevant information, for which blockchain could play a major role High +3

 

From a more holistic approach, technological leaders try to estimate the revolution scope of blockchain and the role this specific ledger plays in catalyzing the digital disruption indeed occurring across sectors. In their view, the organizational, cultural, technical and economic impact driven by blockchain may only be one single link in a wider technological chain that is affecting societies’ approach to information sharing. The question left to answer is what part of commonly shared cultures should belong to the past, and what should belong to the future.

<< (Blockchain) may only be an artefact serving a civilization change, a change that one could foresee as being at least as drastic and devastating as what the Renaissance, the Enlightenment or industrial revolutions may have been to their own “past empires”>>.  

Lire plus: “La blockchain comme révolution… Mais révolution de quoi?”, Laurent Leloup, Techniques Ingénieurs

 

Impact Rate of Impact WAI est. value
Positive: Experts outline the necessity of reading technological developments as part of a single grammar developed by specialists High +3
WAI Comments and Analysis
The differing options and models offered by blockchain types of approaches leave space to define specific data governance models to fit specific requirements. This adaptability needs to be further developed as trials are in early stages in the healthcare services for instance and should keep a high degree of openness. There is an opportunity to include Blockchain in a wider disruption affecting information sharing to define those data governance models that should be adapted enough for specific sectors thanks to blockchain. The intermediate market trends analysis rate of blockchain therefore reaches 2.2/5.

Semantic analysis: business benefits and social expectations for blockchain

Innovation Index blockchain market attractiveness.003

The complexity and multi-culturality implied by concurrent information platforms for a single stream of user information necessarily impacts the cost efficiency of data  transmission and analysis. This is exactly where blockchain is expected to play a key role. As consultants outline, the “automation”, “immediateness” and “simplification” of data flows allows costs, time and energy savings.

<<Claims data is shared across all counterparties. Identities and contract provisions are immediately verified. Payments are automatically made. And, as a result, less adjudication and negotiation is required and costs are minimized.>>

Read more:Blockchain accelerates insurance transformation ” Eamonn Maguire, Michael Adler, Dennis de Vries, Jan Reinmueller, KPMG

 

Impact Rate of Impact WAI est. value
Positive: Clear business benefits are identified yet  new dimensions brought to customer relationships by technologies should open considerations towards systemic and social impact to fully scope benefits Low +1

 

This promising improvement faces strategic, sector specific approaches to data sharing that do not necessarily abide this openness and seamlessness of information. As finance specialists outline, economic players such as banks may not be ready to confront such a paradigm change in the midst of growingly uncertain and pressuring business environment and regulation. The ability to adapt governance models and approach to information sharing with the use of blockchain type of technologies is essential to fine-tune further developments to specific sectors.

<<As Richard Lumb, head of global financial services for Accenture, “for crypto-currency systems, this permanent accounting was critical to gain users’ trust. But for financial institutions facing a multiplicity of risks and regulation elements, absolute immutability is an obstacle.”>>  

Lire plus: “De l’inviolabilité d’une blockchain“, Jacques-André Fines Schlumberger, La Revue Européenne des Médias et du Numérique

 

Impact Rate of Impact WAI est. value
Negative: Experts outline the need to align cultures and infrastructures around common goals for information sharing to make human sense of technological developments Low -1

 

Nevertheless, the market appetite driven by necessary improvements blockchain already delivers for the banking sector is outlined by innovation experts as a proof that the distributed ledger technology holds commercially viable growth potential. Not only do decision-makers already forecast implementation and developments, they also clearly indicate an on-going willingness to further trial and shape blockchain to improve their cost efficiency and approach to market. This new design-thinking type of approach, engaged with a variety of stakeholders from different sectors, turns to be an interesting systemic approach to open-innovation applied to security, transparency and customer relationship.

<<Last month, IBM published a study that found commercial blockchain technology is picking up steam in the banking and financial industries, with 15% of banks and 14% of financial market institutions reporting that they plan to implement blockchain solutions in 2017. About 65% of banks say they expect to have blockchain solutions in production in the next three years.>>

Read more: “How Ericsson is using blockchain“, Justine Brown, CIO Dive

 

Impact Rate of Impact WAI est. value
Positive: Re-exploring innovation development processes through a learning by doing attitude is an essential management attitude to anticipate change and learn with customers High +3
WAI Comments and Analysis
The business driven strategies developed in areas where blockchain drive most immediate impact outline a need to better scope human and cultural drivers behind information sharing. This is in particular true for information flows involving financial institutions, for whom immutability presented by blockchain types of approaches may present an issue. As a result, companies and specialists involved in the development of blockchain for the banking and finance sector are jointly defining pre-requisite of sensible approach to information sharing, security and transparency. The final semantic analysis rate of blockchain therefore reaches 2.1/5.

 

Our last loop had identified an action for technology experts to partner with the digital crowd. The action derived from our latest Innovation Index is outlined below.

loop2-018

By questioning and reshaping our culture of information sharing, this is how blockchain can enhance technologies to empower the digital crowd:

  • How does blockchain strategically align platforms, technologies, skills and services? Blockchain enables to track information from users to users by opening access to a variety of stakeholders to the combined knowledge supporting data, driving assessments in sectors ability to share transparent, secured and trusted information.
  • How does blockchain enable to rethink models and prepare for a cross sector revolution? Blockchain is already being trialled and rolled-out in a number of sector such as banking, insurance, healthcare and agriculture. The structure of blockchain allows different data governance models to be identified while keeping developments open to they adapt to specific needs.
  • Why is there a growing market potential combined to decreasing costs of developments? Business benefits are clearly identified and match an urgent need for security and relevancy of data transmission in a number of sectors. Trends forecast further trials and developments in sectors such as banking and finance.
  • Who are innovation practitioners using blockchain? They are experts from banks, finance, insurance, agriculture, civic and public policies, healthcare sectors, as well as technology experts and developers.
  • What other components will need to generate substantial benefits for blockchain to support technologies such as Artificial Intelligence? As part of a wider technological chain undergoing systemic disruption, blockchain is dependent on infrastructure and platforms effectiveness, including the digital literacy and culture to manage them, to fully exploit its potential.
  • Where does blockchain add value for data processing tools and infrastructure? Blockchain simplifies and streamlines access to information tracking by creating a ledger able to connect a variety of inputs and queries while securing user data. 

 

weareinnovation.org writes the innovation story that thousands of innovation experts around the world constantly develop and share on WAI social networks. Browse our knowledge library and read our management reports to learn more.

Photograph: Nirina Photography

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