Although it has its roots in the financial services sector, the influence of blockchain technology has quickly expanded into a wider pool of sectors over the last two years or so – from retail and manufacturing to media and healthcare.
Businesses large and small are testing use cases and potential applications to prepare themselves for the technology’s next stage of development, with several factors prompting organisations to consider blockchain adoption. In a recent Forrester study commissioned by EY, the preservation of data integrity, an ability to build new revenue or business models and increased operational efficiency ranked as the top three drivers.
However, the key question is: should enterprises be opting for private or public blockchain networks? The vast majority of enterprise applications have so far been built on private-permissioned blockchains – primarily due to privacy and security concerns – but this can present operational complications in large enterprise networks consisting of lots of different stakeholders.
As a result, technologists are rethinking how we can use public blockchains to help enterprises escape the limitations of private networks, increase interoperability and make the most of the technological opportunity available to them – all without putting any sensitive data at risk. For this to work, we need to move away from thinking of blockchains (public or private) as places to store sensitive data or run business logic such as smart contracts. Instead, we need to think of public blockchains as a middleware that can transform how enterprises operate.
Public blockchain and enterprise: Dealing with complexity
Modern enterprises are more complex and disparate than ever before, typically consisting of interconnected networks spread out over multiple geographies. The supply chain provides a perfect example – lots of different businesses, all working in their own way….