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Thank you Dr. Paul Marsden http://digitalintelligencetoday.com/author/admin/
Thank you Jan Rezab, Founder & Chairman of Socialbakers
Bitcoin, introduced with much hoopla in 2009 was supposed to change money forever. Instead of metal coins and paper bills, bitcoin is stored on computers, independent of any country or bank. However, despite the hype, bitcoin has so far proved unsuccessful — the value of a bitcoin has dropped to just $524 (as of May 2016). Only a handful of companies accept bitcoins. Surprisingly, the most valuable part of this once revolutionary new currency may be its data infrastructure — the blockchain.
The blockchain has the potential to reinvent any transaction that now requires going through a middleman, including finance, banking, contacts, and retail.
Brock Pierce, founder and managing partner at Blockchain Capital, sees enormous potential for blockchain, telling WIRED Retail, “This innovation is more substantial than the internet. The blockchain is going to have an even larger impact.”
Blockchain: No More Intermediaries
Before blockchain, buying and selling required an intermediary, a bank or broker who housed your financial data at their computers. When you transfer funds or make a purchase, a banker connects to the bank’s system to record the change.
No more. Blockchain replaces this central system with a decentralized ledger of chained records. Each record is connected to the one before and the one after it, yielding a traceable history of every transaction. No record can be deleted and no existing records can be altered.
For instance, when a purchase is made with bitcoin, the seller’s computer consults the blockchain ledger stored on thousands of other computers to see if the buyer owns the proper amount. If there is distributed consensus among the computers, a new data entry is added to the chain, showing the transfer.
Blockchain: Transforming the Financial World
Although programmers developed blockchain to run bitcoin, this infrastructure will soon manage many other types of information transfers, providing more services faster for consumers.
Blockchains have enormous implications for financial institutions. For instance, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved a plan by another firm, Overstock, to issue stock through blockchain. Wired quoted Michael Bodson, CEO of theDepository Trust & Clearing Corporation saying that through blockchain, “The industry has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine and modernize its infrastructure to resolve long-standing operational challenges.”
Blockchain can soon reinvent banking, replacing “Too Big To Fail” institutions with computerized systems that are more efficient and more honest. Since every blockchain transaction preserves its own record, bank losses (and tax write-offs) could be much less. Banks would need fewer offices, freeing real-estate and lowering costs.
IBM and the Linux foundation are working on a Hyperledger project that would create private blockchains to manage supply chains, oversee contracts, and run other business applications requiring confidential data. Already Intel, Cisco, JP Morgan, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Wells Fargo, and others have announced support.
Smart Contracts Through Blockchain
Banking is only the beginning. In the future, blockchain’s ability to remove the middleman means it could support “smart contracts” with conditional clauses programmed into the blockchain. This makes the contract self-enforcing, by transferring funds only when the conditions are met. Ethereum has developed a decentralized platform to run such smart contracts for crowdsourcing, voting, and even new forms of currency.
Smart contracts could change entire fields of law. Blockchain wills could automatically take effect when a person dies, transferring inheritances without needing an executor. Replacing legal jargon with blockchain logic would require a different type of corporate lawyer with skills akin to a computer programmer. Imagine the implications for law schools!
The blockchain could soon revolutionize music and the other arts. Currently, most musicians and authors make little money from their work as most of the sales price is consumed by the publisher and retail store. This could change through blockchain agreements.
For instance, Mycelia, started by English singer-songwriter Imogen Heap, is developing a way to encode a blockchain contract into songs, so fans would pay the artist directly, without going through a record company. A blockchain e-reader could download ebooks directly from the authors, bypassing both publisher and bookstore, or even Amazon. And when more people have 3D printers, blockchain-locked templates could enable artists to earn greater profits from their designs for toys, figurines, and other art objects.
Future of Blockchains
Of course blockchain is not perfect. Because nothing can be removed from the chain, the blockchain ledger quickly swells to humongous size. And because each new entry must be verified by a consensus of linked computers, transactions take longer to be approved than in a traditional centralized system. Moreover, Michael Terpin, co-founder of BitAngels, warned that some startups are just replacing the word bitcoin with blockchain in their business proposals.
Despite these flaws, blockchain has enormous potential as a way to link, store, and track data. In the next few years, blockchains will offer consumers an alternative way to make purchases without bank and credit card fees. Soon after that blockchains will revolutionize all forms of data transfer–including music and video streaming and data backups.
Now that blockchain is being separated from bitcoin, its uses are unlimited. Traditional banks and retailers will need to adapt to blockchains or be themselves blocked out.
I bookmarked When my world ends, I want to know I helped people on Medium.
Shaping Your Client’s Digital Future—a Long Term Opportunity
Alan Radding, Big4.com guest blogger
If you haven’t honed your digital strategy practice yet, the bandwagon will pull out without you. In April, Deloitte announced that Kennedy Consulting had put them in the vanguard of digital consulting strategy. In May Capgemini publicized its recognition for digital strategy leadership by Kennedy. As it turns out, many of the leading consulting firms got the Kennedy Consulting nod: A.T. Kearney; Bain & Company; The Boston Consulting Group; Booz & Company; Ernst & Young; IBM; McKinsey & Company; PwC, and more.
“Digital is the future and a critical component of business strategy in many industries,” notes Howard Tiersky, CEO of Moving Interactive, which specializes in digital innovation consulting. For Tiersky, digital represents the largest transformation the media world has seen in decades—the old rules and ways of launching new products no longer apply.
Kennedy Consulting voices a similar message: Digital strategy, the integration of digital technologies into companies’ strategies and operations in ways that fundamentally alter the value chain, is emerging as a significant source of competitive advantage — and driving revolutionary changes in the products and services companies bring to market, as well as how they do business.
At this point, the criticality of digital depends on the industry. “In some industries, digital has become the primary way to interact with customers,” says Tiersky. For customers in these industries—media, entertainment, travel sales, financial services—an effective digital strategy is a critical requirement. In some lagging industries digital is an important opportunity but not yet foundational. Before too long, however, every company in every industry will need strong digital strategy that shapes their digital presence.
Despite all the fervor around the digital landscape and an organization’s digital presence, “the role of consultant, in many ways, remains as it always been,” says Tiersky. Consultants help clients see opportunities where digital touchpoints can enhance their business, prioritize opportunities, and assist with development and execution of the digital strategy.
Yet, in other ways digital has changed the way consultants practice. “You won’t win by doing things the same way you would help clients deploy an ERP system,” says Tiersky. The old waterfall approach is gone. Success in the new digital landscape requires agile strategies and methodologies. Your clients’ needs and requirements will change fast. Dynamic content further drives the need for agile approaches.
From a competitive standpoint the digital consulting landscape is getting quite crowded. As Kennedy Consulting noted, most of the big consulting players already are staking out their place in the emerging digital landscape. But that shouldn’t discourage you; “the digital opportunity is massive,” notes Tiersky. And in a market that large there always is room for niche players. Tiersky adds: “There is a huge appetite on part of clients to work with smaller, more agile, nimble companies.”
A new competitive wrinkle, however, is the role of advertising and marketing agencies. An organization’s digital presence often falls under the direction of the marketing folks, not IT. As a result, marketing and advertising firms have moved into the space. These firms were never a factor when IT consultants were doing ERP or CRM systems, but with digital presence they can put a legitimate stake in the ground. “It’s a very diverse landscape now,” notes Tiersky, but many marketing services firms still don’t really understand what it means to develop true digital products.
From a business standpoint, at least, things haven’t changed much. Most consultants continue to work on the traditional time and materials basis or a blend time and materials with fixed fees. Tiersky has not encountered any unconventional pricing models catching on, such as shared risk or piece-of-the action. Among some big players there may be opportunities for what amounts to joint ventures, but these usually involve special programming, such as creating mobile apps or games that generate new revenue opportunities.
This is an opportunity that is going to grow and be around for a while. “We are going through a multi-decade transformation process; every business will shift significantly into digital world,” says Tiersky. Small and midsize organizations will be involved as well, and they too will need the help of consultants. Clearly it’s time to expand your own digital presence.
26 May 16
The latest ClickZ Intelligence report dives into The State of Digital in 2016. This report distills some of the key takeaways from our 17th annual ClickZ Live New York event that took place in April, attended by over 1,000 digital marketers. In addition to the summarized findings of the event, a survey of attendees was taken which provides further context into the trends and challenges marketers are dealing with today.
As well as the survey findings Click Z summarized details from the four tracks of the event. They are:State-of-Digital-ClickZ-Live-New-York-Report
- Search and Acquire (National Geographic, PCH, Homes.com, Invoca, Search Optics)
- Engage and Convert (T Brand Studio, Fatherly, LinkedIn. Lululemon)
- Retain and Grow (American Apparel, Stubhub, Hilton, Retale)
- Digital Transformation (Hasbro, About.com, The Knowledge Engineers)