December 2018 | Commentary | IT Matters: Logistics & Supply Chain Technology

Pushing Blockchain Past the Hype

Tags: Logistics I.T., Technology , Big Data

Diane Fanelli is Senior Vice President of Global Platform Channels, SAP, 610-661-1000

Businesses across the supply chain are finally embracing blockchain as an asset capable of unlocking tremendous value, especially as supply chains grow more globalized and susceptible to compromise.

Yet many companies still approach blockchain with apprehension. Misinformation and lack of clarity loom over businesses curious about blockchain.

Supply chain companies are understandably wary of having to pause and overhaul current operations for any change. Without a clear vision and guidance throughout the implementation phase, companies may choose to defer to existing IT systems, even when blockchain could theoretically enhance operations.

Breaking through the noise of blockchain and its implications doesn't have to be a daunting task. For supply chain companies unsure of the way forward, the channel partner community can make a substantial difference.

Channel partners are, in essence, advisers charged with helping businesses of all sizes and industries understand and implement next-gen technologies in ways that match their unique challenges and amplify performance.

By its nature, the channel community is well-positioned to bridge information gaps and help businesses implement next-generation innovation to their advantage. From technology deployment consultancies and distributors to systems integrators and supply chain-specific, value-added resellers, channel partners offer implementation and hosting services, local market knowledge, and digital expertise.

Embrace the Channel

Companies need to take a few key steps along the way to blockchain implementation. They should conduct an extensive audit of current IT processes, then strategize with their IT team and financial leadership to get a sense of how to improve. With a more holistic view of company operations, businesses can then turn to the channel community to identify real-world, impactful blockchain applications.

Luckily, extensive resources for connecting with channel partners are available. Many enterprise software providers house connection services and information on their home pages, making it easy to identify potential partners with industry-specific expertise.

Once these partnerships are established, supply chain managers can be more prepared to transition toward using blockchain without worrying about interrupting business operations.

Arguably the biggest challenge to adopting any technology is awareness and education. If you don't understand complex technologies or how they can fit into your operation, chances are low you'll adopt them.

Channel partners are well- positioned to function as ambassadors for widespread blockchain adoption. Those caught up in the blockchain news cycle looking for the determining factor that will bring blockchain deeper into the mainstream need look no further than this value-driven ecosystem.