Other parts of this series:
In this series so far, I’ve demystified blockchain and looked at its role in the evolution of human capital management (HCM) technology.
At Accenture, we envision a future where blockchain powers the management of people—and empowers employees to work better. But before we can realize this future, we need to be aware of the benefits—and the challenges—of blockchain:
Five benefits of blockchain
- Holistic view: blockchain provides a universal view of information from a single source.
- Transparency: it provides precaution and greater transparency for regulatory reporting.
- Simplicity: it decreases operational costs and complexity.
- Speed: blockchain enables faster data transfer times.
- Security: data is tamper-proof; logged transactions cannot be altered.
These benefits hold tremendous value for the new world of work in general and for financial services in particular. For example, in the future, blockchain could make resumés obsolete, provide better quality HR data and help streamline routine tasks like payroll with greater speed and accuracy.
At the same time, blockchain does not come without difficulties:
Five challenges of blockchain
- Privacy: balancing the confidentiality and traceability of activities.
- Governance: defining the “new normal” for a governance and trust framework for shared ledgers.
- Implementation: establishing standard tools and administration interfaces.
- Scalability and latency: finding solutions that can handle the required—and varying—volumes.
- Protection: safeguarding against reorganization by one or more participants.
These are challenges we need to try and solve continuously. However, Accenture research shows that the benefits of blockchain far outweigh the concerns.
The billion-dollar value of blockchain on the bottom line
With blockchain, industries worldwide can unlock new trust frameworks through shared data. Blockchain allows organizations to:
- Streamline business models;
- Track digital assets;
- Decrease transaction friction;
- Improve record keeping; and
- In the process, enable innovative new business strategies.
These redefined business strategies include:
- Talent and skill upgrades for an enhanced human+ workforce;
- Cybersecurity modernization;
- Customer relationship modernization;
- Infrastructure and platforms to create new markets.
The business value brought on by blockchain translates into billions of dollars.
Accenture research estimates a total cost saving of $113 billion—25 percent of total operating costs—from blockchain integration in HR in the US.
Blockchain: elevate workers for more business growth
At present, over 30 percent of a business’s cost base is locked up in data messaging and quality issues. Blockchain can help eliminate around 30 percent of front–to–back operations. By freeing employees from routine, repetitive tasks to focus on higher-level work that’s more rewarding, blockchain allows them to become more productive and generate more revenue for the business.
Not only will blockchain help organizations to find, recruit, keep and manage employees—it holds the potential to elevate workers for increased business growth.
The FS organization and its workforce rely on quick access to information to be agile and efficient—yet this becomes more of a challenge as baby boomers retire (loss of institutional memory) and human+ workers move more rapidly through and across the organization (distributed knowledge).
This is where blockchain comes in. It will keep information safe, secure and in a central place that’s easy to access. What’s more, empowering the human+ workforce to use and work alongside new and emerging technologies like AI and blockchain will drive the organization into the future.
In my next post, I’ll dive deeper into how FS organizations can use blockchain to drive value in HR and talent management. For more insight, read our Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2019.
Contact me here or on Twitter @knott_nic or connect on LinkedIn with my colleagues Colin Strasburg and Oliver Grindrod to chat about blockchain, to find out more about digital HR in financial services or to join us at the Change Directors Forum and People Innovation Forum in London.