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Surfacing the value of blockchain for organisations

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has recently released a whitepaper about blockchain technology’s top advantages. This framework was co-designed with Accenture, and is the second in a series of white papers for organisations to better understand blockchain, significantly that it is a tool to achieve a specific outcome, and not the end outcome itself.

Roadmap and framework, as well

Dubbed a visual roadmap and the first of its kind, WEF had created it based on global surveys of 550 individuals across 13 industries including automotive, banking and retail, public sector leaders, CEOs and study of 79 blockchain projects.

Head of Blockchain at the WEF, Sheila Warren, said, “We wanted to get beyond the hype. This new framework is for those business leaders that have figured out blockchain is the right solution for a specific problem, but don’t know what to do next.”

Sure enough, the framewok starts with questions about the role of blockchain and its desired impact in a particular organisation. Then a roadmap will help the organisation see how it could get from their current state, to the future opportunities that blockchain technology can offer.

Taking a good hard look

Fifty one percent of respondents had cited the ability to develop new products and services, as the reason why they agree their organisations should adopt blockchain and remain competitiveness.

Speed and efficiency gains was the main reason for 23-percent of respondents, while 15-percent see blockchain as being able to offer cost savings.

The framework cautioned organisations to really evaluate the suitability of blockchain as the solution to their specific problem, and also to ask the hard questions like, “Could there be another digital technology that can solve this?” and “Is blockchain relevant for my organisation at this particular point in time?”

Obvious benefits

Blockchain’s potential to simplify and optimise value chains through real-time data sharng is undoubted.

This is due to its inherent ability to offer full traceability and transparency of a a data’s integrity. Blockchain’s support for smart contracts and automation also opens up many possibilities for its usage in many industries.

However, it eventually came to light that not many organisations would leverage blockchain to develop new products and services.

Overall, this framework and roadmap combo is an initiative by WEF’s Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution Network (Network).

To date, the Network comprises of over 100 government, civil society, organisation and expert members that all work together to design and pilot innovative approaches to policy and governance of technology.

These human-centred and agile policies are designed to be piloted by policy makers and legislators around the world.

For example, the Network helped Rwanda write the world’s first agile drone regulation that now is being scaled across Asia and Africa. The Network also develops actionable governance toolkits for corporate executives on blockchain.