In a study among C-Suite executives seeking their perspective on blockchain, one third of almost 3,000 executives surveyed are using or considering blockchain in their business.
Blockchain’s first adopters press their advantage
According to the new IBM study, eight in ten of those exploring blockchain are investing either in response to financial shifts in their industry or for the opportunity to develop entirely new business models.
Historically, the biggest business risk was a competitor with new and disruptive goods or services. Today, new and non-traditional competitors with completely different business models intend to topple the incumbents. That’s why some surveyed CxOs are counting on blockchain technology to foster a new generation of transactional applications that are designed to establish trust, accountability, and transparency among an ecosystem of partners, to provide them with a competitive advantage.
“With blockchain, everyone is looking at the same thing at the same time. These new trusted transactions will spawn new business models, processes and platforms where all ecosystem participants can be connected to create new value,” said Brigid McDermott, IBM Vice President for Blockchain Business Development. “Consortia, regulators, and innovators will help create new standards across industries and geographies. Early adopters need to move fast to help shape how these platforms evolve.”
Creating new platform business models is not for the faint of heart as six in ten Explorer CIOs surveyed admit they aren’t yet fully prepared to build blockchain platforms that connect customers and partners across an ecosystem.
Yet, at the same time, some key findings from the study show:
- Of almost 3,000 cross-industry C-suite executives surveyed, 33 percent are already actively engaged or are considering using blockchain
- 100 percent of Explorers expect blockchain to support their enterprise strategy in some way; 63 percent aim to use it to increase transactional transparency
- 78 percent of Explorers are investing in blockchain either to respond to financial shifts or to develop new business models
- Of those whose business models are under threat, over half of the Explorers expect to launch an entirely new business model either within their own industry or in that of someone else’s
- 71 percent of those actively using blockchain believe industry consortia are important to advance blockchain efforts
- 78 percent of those actively using blockchain believe customers are important to advance blockchain efforts
CxOs relying on blockchain for business model innovation
The biggest strategic advantage of blockchain is enabling business model innovation, which, as one retail CMO from the United Kingdom said, “could replace the centralized business model that most companies follow today.” Every Explorer surveyed expects to use blockchain to support a new enterprise strategy. And as blockchain increases trust and transparency across value chains, organizations and individuals will collaborate and compete in ways that can’t yet be foreseen. For example, as evident in the IBV’s prior “Healthcare rallies for blockchains: Keeping patients at the center” study, healthcare is setting a fast pace for blockchain adoption in 2017.
If every vital sign or piece of wearable health data could be stored on the blockchain, the quality and coordination of care would be expected to rise and costs to fall, causing a potential shift to a patient-centric healthcare and personalized patient services.
Opening the door to collaboration
Since blockchain creates new ways of working, they are also springboards capable of launching organizations in new directions. Though eight in ten Explorers admit they aren’t accustomed to collaborating, even selectively, with their competitors, sixty-six percent are experimenting with or implementing a new platform-based business model.
By linking people, resources, and organizations in an interactive ecosystem, businesses can create entirely new forms of value. For example, organizations could support micro-payments and skip the fees imposed by intermediaries or put different types of media into the direct control of their creators, which could solve the challenges associated with global licensing and royalty payments.