The Implications of a ‘Shared Distributed Ledger’
From its origins supporting digital currency, Blockchain is a simple idea with the potential for widespread application. Almost all industries work through an infrastructure of commercial arrangements with a fundamental reliance on trust between connected parties. Truly shared information could revolutionise business relationships and eliminate significant costs of doing business that arise simply because functions are replicated across businesses, and everyone keeps records of the same event. The impact on regulatory functions is far-reaching.
Visibility, time and cost savings build trust between parties, enabling:
- Complex, multi-party transactions reduced to minutes
- Improved security
- Enhanced privacy
- Improved auditability
- Increased operational efficiency
Applications in Financial Services, Government, Ecommerce, Healthcare and Manufacturing are emerging, and almost every industry sees articles every day regarding the ‘Impact of Blockchain in the [Pick Your] Industry’.
On the technical level, the same criteria apply to validate and manage data gathered through connected devices. Embedded into IoT projects to enable security and quality control, it is argued that Blockchain technology will eventually sit behind almost all business functions, even though its application may never actually be visible to the external observer.
The Role of Blockchain in RPA Solutions
A blockchain solution may not necessarily act in a ‘frontline’ role, frequently seen as a building block for payment systems, or replacing permissions in a business contract. In intelligent process automation, distributed ledgers might provide an immutable record of transactions made by RPA-based functions – when responsibility for a transaction is taken on by the system in place of a human made decision, it can become vital to know why the decision was made – what data was used to make the decision and what was the logic flow applied? In regulated industries, this can be important in keeping records either for compliance or for securing relationships with your business partners.
Is Blockchain Relevant for You?
Deciding on Blockchain starts with a number of basic questions, whether applied to your ‘business’ or ‘technical’ architecture:
- Does your ‘network’ involve contractual relationships?
- Is there a need to track assets or events across multi-party transactions?
- Can you benefit from increased levels of trust, transparency and accountability?
- Are current ways of working overly complex?
- Is the current system prone to errors in paperwork and manual processes?
- Is the current system prone to fraud and third party incursion?
A ‘Yes’ answer on most or all might indicate that it would be worth investigating a Blockchain solution.
The hype around Blockchain is significant, and it is fast becoming a byword for security that may not always be appropriate. However, it offers some interesting capabilities that can change the way whole industries work. To get started with your project, or simply discuss your ideas, call us on +44 113 242 3795.