At 2MARK-IT, we work with a range of both small specialist ICT firms and large, well-known, technology vendors. As a result, we network with experts that are at the cusp of new technology frontiers.
This article is part of a series based on interviews with executives, visionaries and thought leaders in technology and innovation. Our goal is to share new insights, new ideas and innovative concepts with our audience before these technologies become mainstream.
For this article we interviewed Hugo Appels, Managing Director at SynTouch, a service consultancy and accelerator for blockchain adoption in the Netherlands.
Blockchain not mainstream yet
Blockchain is a hot topic and there is a whole new world is to be discovered by executives when it comes to blockchain’s impact on business processes and benefits. However, there is still much uncertainty in the marketplace surrounding blockchain.
Within our 2MARK-IT customer base in the software and technology industries, we see many initiatives related to blockchain which remain at a concept phase as there are still many questions about blockchain still to be answered.
Hugo Appels, visionary and strategist at SynTouch
SynTouch delivers solutions and services utilizing leading edge technologies which connect hardware, data, people and organizations. The mission of the SynTouch team – a group of pragmatic, passionate specialists – is to deliver smart services to companies and organizations enhancing their transition of technological innovations into opportunities and possibilities.
Hugo is the visionary and the strategist of the team. He is a facilitator who empowers and supports his customers to take a journey on using blockchain to transform their organizations.
Blockchain – a revolution in trust?
Blockchain is a revolution in trust. Using blockchain enables automatization of administrative processes and set up of transactions between people who don’t know each other or maybe even don’t trust each other, avoiding the need of an intermediate (i.e. a notary or governmental services such as land registry).
For most people, blockchain technologies are still an unknown territory, making it difficult to create a blockchain roadmap or ‘vision’. Nevertheless, blockchain is coming (!) and will cause huge changes in how people and organizations collaborate.
Does company size matter?
Large companies definitely need to investigate the impact of blockchain and for them, implementation of blockchain technologies will have the biggest impact due to their complexity and volume of business processes. However, mid-size companies can benefit significantly as well, and it is important for them to understand the impact of blockchain on their organization, market and customers so that opportunities are not lost.
As an example, Hugo refers to the pharmaceutical industry which has a rigorously managed supply chain. Introducing blockchain, the complete supply chain process is transparent for every single participant and therefore enhances guarantees for quality and on-time delivery of products.
This principle could be implemented in virtually every industry and for all administrative processes.
Blockchain provides your company (and possibly your whole supply chain) with better business models
Based on trust, blockchain enables communication between different parties, enabling a high degree of automation for administrative processes. Resulting in significant business benefits:
- Efficient collaboration with supply chain partners due to smart contracts.
- Fast handling.
- Transparency. Every collaboration partner has a copy of the so-called ‘ledger’, a well-organized database.
- Solidity. If one ledger collapses, other ledgers take over.
- Security. Editing data is impossible and that makes blockchain more secure than centralized storing of big or classified data. This distributional
- character is what disables central attacks. Manipulation of data is virtually impossible.
- Low cost – better margins.
- Custom-made applications are easy to handle for end-users.
Saying that blockchain is the solution for everything goes too far. However, in certain cases/processes, blockchain can have a disruptive impact and that is what Hugo Appels emphasizes in every discussion with business partners: how important it is that companies are aware of this.
Explore your benefits
“Blockchain is all about collaboration and trust” – from supplier to end user, blockchain integrates all stakeholders in the process. Out-of-the-box thinking is key, agile is the new standard.
But where do you start?
It all starts with a brainstorm involving specialists in business, IT, security and legal areas. From an effectively facilitated brainstorm, a long term blockchain vision can be sketched out and short-term candidate blockchain projects identified.
SynTouch supports managements from their first visionary session and assess possible risks and specific possibilities for their customers. Starting with a proof of concept, the best solution could be the development of a new blockchain or, in some cases, the best solutions might be available on the market already.
“At SynTouch we are ‘big enough to cope and small enough to care.’ Our staff have fun at work, focus on customer needs and get involved as a member of the team rather than as an external partner.”
SynTouch team includes 90 specialists and has many years track record in integration and process management.
Hype or Digital Evolution
Bitcoin is the first (globally used) version of blockchain and a hype driving the evolution of blockchain technologies. With its successors such as Smart Contracts and other blockchains with each their own field of application, we have now entered the next level in digital evolution that will change the world for both organizations and for consumers.
When are you going to hook in?
Organizations shouldn’t ask themselves whether to start with blockchain, but when to begin.
“The most important issue in this stage is that managers should be aware of blockchain’s impact on their organization and use this vision to develop a smart strategy for the transition of their company into the digital evolution blockchain. Start small – think big!”
Want to know how blockchain can impact your company?
The Dutch version of this article can be found on https://www.syntouch.nl/blockchain-hype-of-volgende-stap-in-de-digitale-evolutie/.