Take something simple as business administration. For many years the way in which we organise our business administration has not changed. In every business, from hiring staff to delivering eg. electricity via the grid, the delivery in itself is straight forward: over an existing infrastructure the commodity is transported from A to B. But then all of sudden things become complicated: contracts have to be made, they must be agreed upon by both parties, signed, followed, checks have to be made if the contract’s rules are met, depending on delivery calculations must be made, invoiced made, checked, followed, etc., etc.
I think you will get the idea of how complicated we have made it for ourselves.
Can Blockchain bring a solution?
My first reaction could be: “Yes, definitely!”, and I could prove it in a Blocknowledgy Canvas session aimed at a single process.
My reaction could just as well be: “No, I have to know more.”. Because we have to wonder if blockchain technology, seen from a technology push point of view, could ever be successful. And, again, we have to wonder if it might be useful to apply this technology as a part of older business models. Will the expected advantages (cost reduction, better productivity, efficiency, independence, …) be realized? Therefore it is very important to view multiple processes and their respective relationships and to apply our canvasses to each respective process. We have to look at the larger picture.
All around there is much belief in a (very) positive contribution of the blockchain technology but all agree that there has to be a clearly defined problem to be solved. Internet, when launched, was a technology solution to an absent problem and it was incorporated within the old business models. In the early years (and maybe even today) we wondered what we could do with the internet from a business point of view. We all remember the digitized brochures businesses posted online just to have presence. Some people still argue whether the internet has brought a productivity boost and they claim that many organizations could easily survive today without the internet (ex-email).
I truly believe that applying blockchain as technology push is destined to fail. Solving an existing and clearly defined problem might be successful given that there is great trust between the partners. The above does not mean that I think business should wait and lay back until they have such a problem. The business administration process I mentioned earlier could definitely profit from blockchain technology but there remains a lot to be done to its environment.
I do not want to plant the seed for the fear of missing out and neither do I want to plant the seed of “oh, relax this is not for us” but I want to stress that you keep your eyes and ears open, that you keep well informed and that you steer clear of all those cowboys wanting to create a block-bubble. Stay open-minded and critical at the same time.
PS and to answer the question in the title: No, I do not think it is.