Resolve the Data Discrepancy Conundrum in Your Supply Chain Cycles with Blockchain
Emerging technology offer promising improved operations throughout the supply chain.
Blockchain can be the next step in evolving the functions of various industries. The use of blockchain for the supply chain has the potential to improve supply chain transparency, traceability, and administrative costs.
One of the most promising innovative technological applications is the use of blockchain for the supply chain management. Blockchain – the digital system of recording developed for cryptocurrency networks – can help supply chain cycles with some of the discrepancies they face by creating a complete, transparent, and tamper-proof history of information and inventory in the supply chain and financial flow in transactions.
Use Cases of Blockchain for Supply Chain Management
The evolution of operation and supply chain functions in any industry is the core of business operations and strategy. To support the right decision in the supply chain, industries need real-time information about the in-transit movement of materials and products, inventory, and other aspects of business operations. The use of enterprise blockchain technology enhances the performance of supply chain management with the help of these three use cases: Traceability
Traceability improves operational efficiencies by mapping and visualizing a company’s supply chain. More and more consumers are demanding information about the products they buy. Blockchain helps the company understand its supply chain and target consumers with real, verifiable, and immutable data.
Transparency builds trust by capturing key data points like certifications and claims, and then making that data publicly available. Once registered on the Ethereum blockchain, its authenticity can be verified by third parties. With the help of blockchain, companies can track the movement of assets, record the information and show the record of previous assets. Smart contracts are capable of enforcing the asset tracking processes on the Ethereum blockchain, enabling it for everyone to view the origin and journey of a physical or digital asset in real time.
Tradability is a unique blockchain offering that redefines the traditional marketplace concept. Blockchain allows one to “tokenize” an asset by dividing an object into shares that digitally represent ownership. These tokens are tradable and users can transfer ownership without the physical asset changing hands.
Importance of Blockchain in Supply Chain Management
Blockchain technology enables companies to plan business strategies through the use of intelligent contracts. The benefits companies can gain from blockchain can help them save money, time and various efforts. Additionally, blockchain is impenetrable to any kind of cyber attack and hacking. There are many potential benefits companies are reaping from blockchain technology, such as:
Building public trust through data sharing and increasing credibility
Avoiding potential misconduct and thus, reducing PR risk
Blockchain helps to get more accurate feedback from consumers and predict their needs, which would help retailers, manufacturers and suppliers to keep their customers happy and grow their business. The future of blockchain can be much more profitable, adding traceability, security, and transparency to the supply chain, by promoting honesty and trust between companies and the end-user.
Supply chains face challenges related to quality, cost, and speed. These parameters can be easily achieved with blockchain for the supply chain management. Blockchain has already proven to be a good supply chain traceability system and will inevitably expand its adoption to improve transparency, traceability, and auditability of material flow by supply chain parties. The benefits of blockchain are that it prevents fraud, miscommunication and unnecessary agreements. The entire supply chain ecosystem is progressing with the help of blockchain and becoming more transparent for companies and customers.
FAQs: How blockchain and cloud compare
By Niamh O’Connell, senior business development manager at CasperLabs.
Companies have relied on commercial storage providers to house their data since the 1960s – and when cloud services were introduced in the 2000s, early adopters quickly benefited from greater scalability, flexibility, fewer maintenance responsibilities, and improved security.
Today, blockchain technology is similarly poised to transform how companies store, access, track, and protect data. But for many companies, questions around just how blockchain works – and how it can meet the operational needs of businesses – remain.
Below, we dive into some of the top ones.
How does enterprise blockchain compare to the cloud?
Both blockchain and cloud are disruptive tools that distribute compute and storage across a network. In the cloud, data is spread across servers, while blockchain stores data on several nodes. Each tool is used to reduce risk as businesses manage critical components of their infrastructure.
Can organizations use both blockchain and cloud technology?
The network of nodes that form a blockchain can, and often do, run on a cloud server infrastructure. Leveraging cloud infrastructures, companies can operate nodes and other services within specific location zones for increased data security, data privacy and regulatory compliance.
By decentralizing cloud networks, blockchain can enable greater data sharing and power a variety of cloud applications, including cloud storage and computation.
For example, if your company uses AWS cloud services, choosing a blockchain protocol that is integrated with that provider enables users to deploy node infrastructure directly via AWS marketplace.
Blockchain has been notorious for being inaccessible to mainstream developers. Is that changing?
Yes, we’re seeing a movement towards greater accessibility. Ideally, developers should be able to implement blockchain by plugging into given use cases without the need to understand the underlying tech. For example, low-code decentralized platforms that allow developers to build dApps. Such platforms reduce the complexity of wallet management and connectors.
True or false: Once data is added to the blockchain, it cannot be changed.
Neither. One of the key features of blockchain is its immutability, meaning that once a transaction is recorded, it’s permanent.
However, smart contracts that are highly programmable, stored on a blockchain, can be programmed to be immutable or upgradeable, meaning that metadata can be changed if specified.
Let’s say you program an NFT contract for house records to be upgradeable. That means metadata such as the owner can be added and consequently changed. You can read more about this here.
Private versus public blockchain – what’s the better option for businesses today? Are there other network types developers should consider?
The best option is a network that will meet businesses’ specific requirements and enable them to achieve their desired results. There are advantages and tradeoffs to both private and public blockchains including control, trust, and flexibility. And, there’s now a growing need for hybrid blockchains that enable businesses to transition data from highly configurable private networks to hybrid and public environments, where greater transparency of data integrity is critical to a businesses operation.
With IBM, we’ve built an atomic cross-chain asset/token swap solution that demonstrates how you can exchange a token on a public blockchain like Casper with a token on a private chain such as hyperledger fabric. This enables deployments on enterprises’ private infrastructure without leaking data of the underlying asset, while having collective trust from the public chain.
What’s next for blockchain? Where will it be in 10 years?
We’ll see trends that we’ve experienced in cloud computing play out in the blockchain realm. For instance, once the novelty of server virtualization became the standard, new capabilities like serverless functions came to market. Blockchains have a similar capability with programmable smart contracts, which allow users to call functions from the blockchain. This will only grow in application scope and scale – just as cloud computing services have.
Blockchain will be a fundamental infrastructural tool that is integrated into the technologies we use daily. Mass adoption is inevitable.
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