European businesses are taking a multi-pronged strategy for applying blockchain to their evolving digital enterprises, according to our recent study of 1,570 senior executives across Europe.
An overwhelming majority of respondents in our study said they have either already defined (50%) their blockchain strategy or are in the process of doing so (47%). The major factor for pursuing blockchain initiatives, according to 70% of respondents, is competitive differentiation.
Businesses, however, need to move past traditional ideas of competition and markets and see blockchain’s key features — privacy, security, immutability, transparency, reliability, process integrity — as design elements for a whole new way of doing business that disrupts institutional power and invites open participation and collaboration.
The top business opportunities named by respondents include the creation of new service lines (62%), customer segments (60%) and markets (58%). Fewer respondents, however, recognize the further reaching capability of blockchain to open up their internal assets to extract greater value, integrate themselves more directly into a network of business (i.e., by putting smart contracts on the blockchain), enable more customer autonomy, or create and securely share “digital twins” and digital product memories to establish entirely new levels of transparency.
Most companies are working on blockchain opportunities internally, with only a few collaborating with external stakeholders or joining a consortium. This desire to drive their own blockchain agenda exemplifies the problem of older, legacy-based thinking.
The information graphic below distills five of our key study findings.