World Economic Forum Report: 6 Ways to Evaluate Blockchain Benefits

The World Economic Forum announced that it released a guide for the evaluation of the benefits of blockchain applications.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) announced that it released a guide for the evaluation of the benefits of blockchain applications in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on July 16.

The document delves into how to apply blockchain technology, providing six recommendations for companies. The first is to take time to understand the technology, set realistic expectations (identifying incentives and accounting for risks), and align to strategic priorities.

The report also recommends evaluating whether blockchain or other technologies are the best solution specifying that “blockchain is not a substitute for digitization and should not be treated as such.” 

Lastly, organizations should keep an agile approach since it better allows for strategy evolution and think beyond the individual organization. This last point is explained in the following way:

“The decentralized nature of blockchain makes a transformation from an isolated approach to end-to-end value-chain integration within fragmented and complex environments more attainable. In fact, a lack of collaboration can undermine – or even block – such transformation. In assessing value, it is important to consider network and scaling effects, particularly as enabled by collaboration.”

The Blockchain Value Framework guide is a follow-up to the “Blockchain Beyond the Hype” report released by the WEF last year and has been co-designed with consulting firm Accenture. 

Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain at the World Economic Forum, explained that the previous report stressed that blockchain deployment should not be a goal in and of itself. The purpose of this whitepaper is to provide guidance in applying the technology, she said:

“This new framework is for those business leaders that have figured out blockchain is the right solution for a specific problem, but don’t know what to do next.”

The document is based on an evaluation of 79 blockchain projects and a global survey of 550 individuals across 13 industries. The report found that 51% of the respondents said that they expected “missing out on developing new products/services” if their organization did not invest in blockchain technology. Another 23% of the respondents expected “missing out on speed/efficiency gains,” and 15% “missing out on cost savings.”

Furthermore, in nine of the 13 industries surveyed, full traceability and integrity of the data were identified as the top advantage brought by blockchain. Meanwhile, not many organizations answered that blockchain’s benefit could be delivering “new business products or services.” The author of the press release commented:

“This suggests the current focus for organizations is on improving existing products and services before considering investing in new opportunities.”

At the end of May, the WEF also announced the formation of six separate “fourth industrial revolution councils” to work on new technology policy guidance.

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Author: Adrian Zmudzinski

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