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COVID boosts Blockchain-based projects in supply chain: Report

The pandemic served to underscore just how broken many aspects of current supply chain and logistics systems are.

New Delhi: While there have been many cancellations and postponements in Blockchain-based projects in Covid-19 times, those related to supply chain and logistics have actually accelerated, according to a new report.

By enabling companies to automate processes around shared, trusted data, Blockchain helps reduce cost and increase supply chain efficiency as well as resilience “Given that CIOs and other budget holders typically cut emerging technology projects first, many were expecting blockchain initiatives to be among the worst hit. Not so,” said Martha Bennett.

VP, Principal Analyst (serving CIO professionals) in a Forrester report. Once companies had addressed the initial challenges of switching to remote working and doing what was necessary to keep operations running, decision-makers focused on their other technology projects, including Blockchain.

The pace is accelerating for projects and networks that help solve acute issues. The pandemic served to underscore just how broken many aspects of current supply chain and logistics systems are.

“Not surprisingly, existing networks offering capabilities to help address those shortcomings received an immediate uptick in interest. The same applies to vendors – large firms and startups alike – with proven capabilities and software to help enterprises set up or join Distributed ledger technology (DLT) or Blockchain-based networks quickly and reliably.”

“Other use cases around pandemic-related challenges (vaccine tracking, sharing of research data, and clinical trials) also moved up the priority list. Initiatives that demonstrate cost and time savings continue to receive funding, even in industries that are struggling,” Bennett said.

Covid-19 has boosted blockchain projects that increase efficiency and reduce cost as well as those that help improve transparency and flexibility, especially in supply chain and logistics.

“But the move toward a more collaborative way of working among supply chain participants had already started. And we’re not just talking about DLT trailblazers like Maersk and Walmart here,” the report mentioned.

Many Blockchain projects fail even after completion of a successful proof-of-concept (PoC) or pilot project.

“You can avoid this by taking the whole process into consideration right from the start. Map out clearly how the Blockchain element fits into it and how data can be transferred securely between the distributed ledger and existing back-end systems,” Bennett informed.

Check carefully what’s available out of the box, as not all networks and as-a-service offerings feature prebuilt integrations with key back-end systems, like ERP and accounting.

“Make sure that you involve the security and risk team right from the beginning. Taking these steps will slow you down in the early stages but inoculate you against two of the most common causes of post-PoC failure,” she added.

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