In this guest posting on Spend Matters UK/Europe, the author discusses the potential value of BCT in the procurement value chain. One can add this to the lengthy chart of speculative use cases that have been assigned to BCT, which at one point in late 2015/early 2016 reached an apex of hype, with daily/hourly posts and articles touting possible benefits ranging from saving operational costs to world peace. Once folks started to understand that the technology enables solutions in various use cases, the real work began, but to date mostly in the background. Lots of potential, many patents filed and all sorts of applications seem to lie ahead. Procurement likely will be one of them.
‘Blockchain has made a lot of noise in the digital world, and at this point, it’s almost accurate to say most people know what it is and its impact in the technology sphere. Most industries and organisations such as supply chain, data science, transportation, finance, and healthcare already have pilot blockchain projects in place. We believe this nascent technology can revolutionise procurement as well.’
We at Mercator have been expecting some sort of 2018 announcement on a clearly defined BCT product release with measurable value in the space of corporate banking use cases, but that now looks more like a 2019-2020 event at best. While many things are in use, they are not actually visible, and those that have been announced can be most closely described as collaboration efforts, POCs, tests, and so forth. The leaders of the pack in the corporate banking services space (as far as we can see) continue to be related to international trade/supply chain, cross-border payments and security/fraud management. The article’s author makes a reasonable case for why BCT works in procurement as well, including security, automation and so forth.
‘Blockchain has a lot to offer for the procurement function, which is why procurement professionals should start to consider its use in earnest. Integrating this tech in a company’s processes will result in transparency, efficiency, improved trust and security. However, before you leap forward, you need to understand that blockchain is still in its early stages and hence suitable for pilot projects only. Additionally, it’s not a good idea to jump in blindly simply because every other article is describing it as the next big thing. You need to have a plan and understand which processes need improvement, and how much you expect to spend.’
So we will see how the technology is used as time goes on, and if you have some interest in this section of business uses, the article is worth spending a few minutes.
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group