Do Fortune 500 companies need to utilize blockchain technology before it sees mainstream adoption?
As blockchain technology takes hold in several industries — not just finance and cryptocurrency but also –executives and business leaders are trying to determine how they can take advantage of it in their own organizations. While many are jumping on the bandwagon, some remain skeptical of it as a flash in the pan or a bubble waiting to burst.
Earlier this year, a group of healthcare CIOs called blockchain the most “overhyped IT trend,” and 60 percent of transportation industry leaders responding to a Gartner survey said that blockchain was interesting but they were unclear of its usefulness.
It’s true that blockchain is a nascent technology with a bit of a learning curve attached, but are the skeptics right to wait for it to mature before going all in? Is it worth Fortune 500 companies taking the risk yet, or do they have an opportunity to catch an important technology on the rise?
Getting in on the ground floor of any potentially “gamechanging” tech is often a goal for organizations of all sizes, but Fortune 500 companies are actually in a unique position to jump on blockchain and not only put it to use for them but also contribute to its evolution. They have the financial power to experiment with pilot programs and conduct testing on a large scale to gauge real-world effectiveness.
Even with just a pilot program, Fortune 500 companies stand to gain a significant competitive advantage by implementing blockchain at an early stage. While standards and regulation are still somewhat up in the air at this point, blockchain has already proven to offer next-level data security and processing capabilities that, given the chance to perform on a large stage, could have real impact on an organization’s productivity and security.
A Fortune 500 company could potentially leverage the buzz around blockchain to invest in outsourced blockchain providers to expand their portfolios, or even create proprietary blockchains to protect their own intellectual property, financial information, employees and customers. When the stakes are so high, why wouldn’t they want to strengthen security?
Implementing organization-wide change is like moving mountains, and even more so at a Fortune 500 company that employs thousands of people in several countries. Still, blockchain is soon going to become a technology that cannot be ignored at the F500 level, at the risk of being outdone by the competition.
Steve Kuh, Founder and CEO of Group Project, says that Amazon’s and Starbucks’ recent moves into cryptocurrency as proof that blockchain technology can solve real-world problems. “This is good news that shows more mainstream use cases are being considered for the blockchain technology,” he told LDJ Capital. “This means some real-world problems are better solved using blockchain technology, which will result in wide-scale adoption of the technology by consumers and improve awareness…”
At this stage of its development, blockchain is already mature enough to show results for organizations of all sizes, especially as its growth is being spurred by the growth of the cryptocurrency market.
Buy-in from the Fortune 500 may not be necessary to deliver blockchain to the mainstream, but it will be beneficial to both those organizations and to the technology to have resources invested in its development. Those who embrace it early will have a leg up on their competition and the chance to be the thought leaders at the head of a new and important technology trend.