What 10 Global Consulting Firms Say About Blockchain Technology
Since blockchain technology proves difficult for major businesses and startups to ignore, many seek professional advice about how to best approach the nascent industry. As a result, consulting firms have released several findings and statements about the blockchain industry in recent years. This includes major players like McKinsey & Company, BCG, Accenture, Deloitte, EY, and many others. With these firms increasingly offering insight into how businesses should approach the new market, their statements provide context for the landscape as a whole.
McKinsey & Company: blockchain could reach its potential in five years
McKinsey & Company, a New York City-headquartered international consulting and research firm, involved itself in many blockchain technology conversations in recent years.
For its website, it invited Don Tapscott of the Toronto-based Blockchain Research Institute to speak about the potential of blockchain technology, giving him a platform to advocate the technology’s merits.
The company furthers this open-minded approach to blockchain technology with publications like Getting Serious About Blockchain.
In 2017, McKinsey published a report about Blockchain Technology in the insurance sector. The report stated that most of the impact from blockchain technology in financial services is likely to come from payments, and that “enabling collaboration, shaping a positive regulatory environment and identifying clear business cases justifying the transition costs will pose the biggest challenges to implementation.”
If these obstacles are overcome, the report stated that blockchain technology “could reach its potential within 5 years.”
BCG to companies: experiment with blockchain and keep your options open
“Coded by an unknown hacker, germinating in the netherworld of cypherpunks, Bitcoin was not discovered by the business mainstream until 2015,” wrote a team of BCG advisors and partners in an explorative essay. “Just as punk rock was repackaged as new wave, so was Bitcoin domesticated into blockchain.”
The essay, titled Thinking Outside the Blocks: A Strategic Perspective on Blockchain and Digital Tokens, was led by senior advisor Phillip Evans.
“So stay close to the coders, the entrepreneurs, and the policy makers,” it concluded, advising consultants and pioneers to keep an open mind about blockchain technology disruptive emergence.
“Keep your options open. Experiment. These are the watchwords for thinking outside the blocks. And they are better guides to strategy than the airy enthusiasm of evangelists or the myopia of bean counters.”
Bain & Company: blockchain can reduce costs by 50-80%
Bain & Company continued to stay close to blockchain technology throughout 2018. In May, for instance, the global management consultancy published a report investigating how banks can stand out amongst their competition.
In the report, Bain found that correct applications of blockchain technology could prove beneficial in allowing financial institutions to lower their operating costs, thanks to faster payment settlements.
“Bain & Company estimates that distributed ledger technology, if adopted in the right way by participants in the trade ecosystem, has the potential to reduce trade finance operating costs by 50% to 80%, and to realize three- to fourfold improvements in turnaround times,” the consultancy stated.
KPMG: blockchain aspirations are approaching a reality
KPMG previously entered a collaborative effort with Microsoft to identify new applications and use cases for blockchain technology. The ongoing effort illustrates how the company views blockchain technology, and this positive view is further evident in several of its publications
“Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) were, until recently, considered merely aspirational and a form of exaggerated hype. […] Today these aspirations are in fact approaching reality,” KPMG said in a 2017 release.
“There are many amazing benefits of blockchain and DLT that should be taken seriously, with asset managers and banks starting to recognise what these new technologies can deliver.”
Accenture: blockchain will supercharge AI and IoT
“Blockchain technology provides new infrastructure to build the next innovative applications beyond cryptocurrencies, driving profound, positive changes across business, communities and society,” wrote Accenture, a global management consulting and professional services firm.
“Blockchain will supercharge artificial intelligence and IoT to make everything from supply chains to digital identity management smarter and more secure.”
To date, Accenture published many surveys and insights regarding the world of blockchain technology. Exploring the technology has been a part of Accenture’s stance for a long time, and the firm enlists Canadian pioneer Iliana Oris Valiente to serve as its Global Blockchain Innovation Lead.
PwC: blockchain could be ‘enormous’ for financial sector
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is a multinational professional services network that is not shy when it comes to expressing its views on blockchain technology.
“PwC sees enormous potential for blockchain in financial services,” the company stated. “We’ve developed the strategic and implementation capabilities necessary to help financial institutions, technology companies and startups take advantage of this transformative technology.”
In May 2018, PwC’s Australian branch unveiled a collaboration between PwC Australia, the Port of Brisbane, and the the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to develop an end-to-end supply chain that will digitize supply chain information.
A.T. Kearney: blockchain could transform business, but is in ‘early stages’
In a publication exploring the technological trends that businesses are adopting, process-improvement consultancy A.T. Kearney briefly explored the state of blockchain technology.
“In a matter of months, ‘blockchain’ has been compared to the wheel, fire, and the Internet,” it wrote. “This distributed ledger technology does indeed have potential to change how business functions, but it is in its early stages.”
EY launches blockchain platform with Microsoft
As Coinsquare News reported in a market roundup in June 2018, Microsoft and EY entered a collaboration to launch a blockchain platform for royalty management
Reportedly, Microsoft joined Ernst & Young (EY) in creating a platform based on the Quorum protocol to manage royalties and entertainment rights. The platform looks to employ blockchain technology in order to remove the need for manual verification and instead allow for a system that automatically tracks and issues royalty payments.
Further, in April 2018, EY announced blockchain-based audit technology, a pilot which it claims will lay the foundation for automated audit tests of blockchain assets, equity, and smart contracts.
“As digital technology continues to advance, we are focused on developing innovative approaches to the audit process and providing confidence and trust to the capital markets,” stated EY Global Assurance Innovation Leader, Jeanne Boillet, at the time. “As companies are also focusing on how they embed technologies like blockchain into their financial processes, we are innovating the audit to meet their evolving needs and those of investors.”
Oliver Wyman: blockchain technology will bring a radical shift
Publications from Oliver Wyman continue to acknowledge the disruptive nature of blockchain technology.
“There is a growing realization that distributed ledger technology — popularly known as blockchain — will bring a radical shift in the way we think about financial assets and the way the financial industry will operate in the future,” the consulting firm stated in a 2016 guide for asset managers.
Since then, the firm often releases publications exploring how blockchain technology could improve or otherwise disrupt various industries, and even releases insights designed to foster education about digital currencies.
Deloitte: blockchain technology is history in the making
This year, Deloitte continued its overall approach to blockchain technology by delivering on findings at the industry’s largest blockchain-focused event, Consensus.
In the 2018 rendition, Deloitte announced findings as part of a preview of its annual global survey announcement. It surveyed 1,000 respondents and polled a sample of senior executives from companies with annual sales of at least $500 million USD in the U.S., China, Mexico, France, Germany, the UK, and Canada.
Speakers on behalf of the global multinational professional services network spoke about factors motivating blockchain technology innovation during their Consensus 2018 presentation, adding their own insight about what made the technology worth pursuing.
“The convergence that we’re seeing is between large and more established businesses, and those newer innovative businesses in the bold play market,” said Deloitte Tax LLP tax partner Rob Massey. “These folks coming together validates that what we’re doing is right. It’s bold. This is history we’re making here, and we’re living this together.”
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