Understanding Blockchain for Business

Have you heard about blockchain? By now, most business owners have, but that does not mean they know whether to build it into their IT strategy or not. If it’s challenging for you to find the time to keep up with the latest IT buzzwords, you’re not alone. Many, even most, small-to-medium sized business owners are focused on the day-to-day and long-term strategy of their business. They don’t have the time to pay attention to every new technology trend. However, you don’t want to risk falling behind or missing an innovation that could make a big impact for your company. That’s why 101 Digital stays up to date on the latest in business IT. We are here to help you stay knowledgeable so you can take advantage of the innovative technologies that make sense for your business.

Today, we will focus on helping you understand blockchain, which can be notoriously difficult for business owners outside of the IT world to grasp. You have most likely heard the term, even if just in passing, but what does it mean?

Essentially, blockchain is a form of shared digital record-keeping, originally developed in 2008 as a public transaction ledger for bitcoin. The transactions in each record (the block of information) link together forming a blockchain.

Three Key Business Benefits of Blockchain

1) Improved Trust & Consistency

How many transactions take place across your business each day, across how many partners? From orders to payments, when each party has their own record, the truth can get lost. Blockchain instead creates a single authoritative ledger of each transaction, which all parties must agree to. All transactions must be validated by all parties involved. They must also consent before a new transaction is added to the chain. Once entered, a blockchain record is extremely difficult to modify or remove. No transaction can be deleted, not even by an administrator.

2) Efficiency

This completely digitized record-keeping process eliminates inefficient paper processes that leave more room for human error and delays. With blockchain in place, you may be able to cut out the middleman for certain transactions, thereby cutting costs. For example, if you do business internationally, you may be able to use blockchain to make foreign transactions that would otherwise require a third-party service, thereby cutting the conversion cost.

3) Improved Security

Blockchain technology is harder to hack, and significantly improved cybersecurity may be the biggest benefit your business will see. Data is stored across a network of computers that verify information with one another. To infiltrate information stored in a blockchain, a hacker would need to compromise a majority of the computers in this vast network. Since hackers typically exploit human error to infiltrate the network through a single access point, this decentralization makes a big impact for cybersecurity. Better cybersecurity means better customer relationships. In today’s environment, businesses rely on customer data; meanwhile, those customers are hearing constant stories about data leaks and breaches. Strong cybersecurity practices can be a major differentiator in a climate in which customers are becoming more aware of business data practices.

These are just a few of the benefits that blockchain can bring to businesses. What could it do for yours? Contact 101 Digital to discuss blockchain’s potential applications for your business. Our team is here to answer your questions and help you develop a comprehensive IT strategy that evolves with the technology landscape.