I have been thinking about #blockchains a lot recently.
First Wave of Internet
When I first started using the Internet, it was on the Mosaic browser running on Intel 386 machines. Download speed was slow, and great sites ran on FreeBSD. More importantly, it was the beginning of the shift of a new wave. The wave of information access. Back then, people wonders why you need an email or a web site to do business. Today, we have access to information at our fingertips.
Second Wave of Internet
In my opinion, the second wave of the Internet is the rise of the mobile devices and its associated infrastructure. For once, users from developing countries gain access to the Internet via mobile devices. Desktop adoption ‘was skipped’ in these countries, and users just leapfrogged and embrace the mobile Internet. It also give rise to many new mobile platforms and businesses were forced to rethink their customer engagement strategy. Do they just rely on a traditional broadcast format of sharing information with their end customers? Or should they start having ‘conversations and dialogues’ with their customers through better segmentation and targeted messages. The wave of communications changes not just how people communicates but also how people ‘communicates’ with machines. Commands and orders were send over the NET and executed. Today, the likes of Apple Siri, Google Now, Amazon Echo all are able to recognise and execute voice commands.
Third Wave of Internet
The third wave of Internet is just beginning. And it is build on the foundation of information sharing, communications ease and an interconnected NET. Some called it IoT (Internet of Things). However, I believe, for #IoT to work, the underlying technology layer will be based on blockchain. IoT is going to connect more than 20 billions of devices and users together.
On its own, the low hanging fruits or business cases of IoT will cost-savings, process efficiency. However, it will not lead to a great transformation and disruption in business models.
The real change comes when we embrace and embed blockchain technologies or platforms like #Ethereum into the business itself. Not only can we track the flow of information, bits and pieces of information governing the use of assets can be send, embedded to the receiving party.
Imagine this. A trigger notification about parts replacements gets triggered to both the Supply Chain partner and the manufacturer. The same piece of embedded information can be governed such that on the Supply Chain side, they only know the part number to send out and replaced. But, for the manufacturer, they may have access to a deeper and wider range of information including possible causes for the fault or the usage patterns leading to the failure. Capitalising on IoT Change
For businesses to capitalise on this underlying change, a few things needs to be in place:
1.You can’t find new ‘shores’ without leaving your current shore. To embrace change, one has to be willing to let go of dated processes and practices.
2.An interconnected landscape of this scale pose great security risks. And with that, governance and security, needs to be in-built from day one. It has to be part of a wider systems design. Culturally, people need to start thinking about the risks as part of their day-to-day job. Security can’t be thrown to the ‘edge’ and its success just based on the latest ‘hardware’ or hope.
3.Successful IoT transformation will need to be a partnership; business-driven and supported by IT-led initiatives. A transformation will also not happen if businesses only go for the low-hanging fruits of ‘cost-savings’, ‘efficiency-improvements’.
To discuss more about how IoT, blockchains and their applications in different verticals or industries, feel free to contact us.