Businesses began leveraging Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software in its contemporary form in the early 1990s. Today, enterprise applications are used by a wide range of business functions to run more efficiently and reduce human intervention and costs. Ease of access and management of massive databases is a core feature of enterprise applications.
However, businesses want to derive more specific value from enterprise applications. For instance, they aspire for higher confidentiality, transparency, and security of data in enterprise applications used by several stakeholders. Expecting both transparency and privacy of data simultaneously seems like an unattainable ask. But blockchain technology enables such a dichotomous outcome.
Today, there is a spurt in the usage of blockchain-powered enterprise software across sectors. In this blog, we outline blockchain use cases by industry to give a snapshot of how blockchain-powered applications can impact efficiency, revenues, and profitability.
Explore the Five Use Cases
Today, blockchain use case examples can be found across several businesses leveraging blockchain-powered enterprise applications to strengthen their business model and enhance data security.
For instance, blockchain use case examples can be found across Enterprise Accounting Software, ERP, Customer Relationships Management (CRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM), HR Tech, and martech (marketing Technology solutions). Some new categories are also emerging based on the changing needs of business-to-business (B2B) audiences.
So, how can blockchain be used in business to build more value? Let's take a look at blockchain use cases by industry to understand this technology's impact on businesses.
Our first blockchain case study is from the healthcare sector.
The healthcare industry is grappling with massive amounts of sensitive customer data being stored and shared across multiple channels. This data can be related to patient histories, meditation requirements, data related to medical professionals, and the inventory and equipment of hospitals.
Data is being shared almost every day with various stakeholders - from patients and pharmaceuticals to medical professionals and suppliers of inventory. Data security is a growing concern that can challenge legacy enterprise applications.
On the other hand, blockchain-based enterprise applications help encrypt all data and only make it visible to authorized stakeholders when they need to view it.
Blockchain apps can also maintain health records confidentially while giving authorization to medical professionals and other stakeholders without being forced to also give access to the identity of patients. As we can see, several possibilities open up with the use of blockchain.
By 2028, the global blockchain technology market size in healthcare is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 39.9% from 2022 to 2028, rising to a value of $ 5.3 billion by 2028. Hence, blockchain will play an increasingly important role in weaving in more transparency, security, and agility to the healthcare industry.
Today, entities such as corporations and governments are looking to engage in investment, debt, and asset management activities in a secure, accessible manner. However, third parties such as banks play a key role in these activities.
Here's an example of blockchain applications in the financial services sector that support business-to-business (B2B) transactions. The emergence of B2B trade financing platforms enables such organizations to view investment opportunities in one place through an aggregator feature. They can compare various opportunities, leverage tools and resources to help maximize returns and benefit from the advantage of speed, security, and access to data.
It opens the doors for businesses that may be excluded due to a lack of access for various reasons. Faster access to funding and investment opportunities can help businesses fund various projects, increase revenues and expedite the workflow of funding and investments.
Eliminating third parties is also a major advantage; it reduces costs and expedites the time for decisions and transactions. Smart contracts can be generated in real-time, and changes cannot be made without instant notification to concerned stakeholders. Hence, the entire transaction process becomes highly transparent, and new information is accessible in real-time.
Blockchain is considered to be a game changer when it comes to legacy accounting software. One of the biggest challenges in accounting is ensuring no fudging of books. Despite companies having access to state-of-the-art enterprise accounting software, they still need to shell out funds to facilitate in-depth audits to ensure that the numbers add up.
This additional audit is a time-consuming activity that also comes at a significant cost. The key challenge is that it is still possible to manipulate data without it showing up in the audit. With the arrival of blockchain, everything has changed. Once the genesis block is established, every change made to the same account is stored in a new block, which is timestamped.
As changes are made, the key authorized stakeholders are notified promptly. It is possible to track exactly when a change was made and the exact date and time. Hence, manipulating the data and attempting to hide it is extremely difficult. As blockchain-powered accounting software becomes a norm, the requirement for expensive, time-consuming orders will also go down.
Businesses looking to commit to a culture of transparency, and higher accountability to stakeholders, are adopting blockchain-powered accounting software. This use case demonstrates how blockchain can be used in business to nurture a business's long-term sustainability and profitability.
The lack of compliance with regulatory guidelines is a growing concern for businesses. Lack of compliance can lead to consequences such as fraud, bankruptcy, loss of reputation, job losses, and the shutdown of a business. After the subprime crisis of 2008, companies in the banking, financial services, and insurance sectors have increased investments towards regulatory compliance by 60%.
Companies hire experts and auditing agencies to review their compliance practices and progress. With the acceleration in digital transformation across sectors, regulatory authorities have become more stringent in their guidelines for sectors ranging from financial services and pharmaceuticals to education. On the one hand, blockchain has the potential to help regulators immensely.
Compliance officers can track steps involved in more complex regulations while keeping a check on compliance-related data, literally in real time. It would be difficult for companies to manipulate compliance data when systems leverage blockchain.
Similarly, companies can keep a tab on their compliance protocols and be notified of violations through blockchain-based regulatory compliance software. Both regulators and companies can take quick action to course-correct any violations.
Supply Chain Management
This is one of the most important functions in the manufacturing, e-commerce, and food production sectors, to name a few. An efficient supply chain can help businesses cut costs, improve quality, expand revenue models, and drive profitability. Companies are struggling with building an efficient supply chain due to various factors that have been influencing business in the last three years.
Digital transformation has led to increased customer expectations in terms of speed, quality, and quantity of products and services. Disruption of the supply chain due to various global events has led to a shortage of raw materials.
For instance, the occurrence of the pandemic saw 13%, 12%, 10%, and 8% of the healthcare, telecommunications, energy, and retail businesses lose revenues of over % 500 million each due to supply chain disruptions. Hence, companies must be able to identify alternate sources for supplies. Changes in regulatory guidelines have also impacted business models and revenues.
The use of blockchain-powered supply chain software is addressing these challenges. Here's a snapshot of blockchain use cases in the supply chain.
For instance, companies aim to track the movement of materials and goods through the entire supply chain. The introduction of blockchain ensures that timestamps cannot be manipulated, which can still happen in legacy systems.
This is especially valuable in certain Industries such as food production and delivery, where the freshness of food can be impacted by the way and is the foundation of the business. However, manufacturing and eCommerce businesses are also prioritizing fool-proof trackability of the supply chain.
The movement of a single item can be tracked, and the gaps can be closed with more efficiency in the supply chain. Transparency, immutability, speed, and traceability are enhanced. But it also enables consensus between various collaborating parties in a B2B transaction. The number of blockchain use cases in the supply chain continues to grow and is expected to become a mainstream practice over time.
The above examples of blockchain applications clearly demonstrate the potential of this technology to disrupt enterprise applications. Many more blockchain use cases in education, hospitality management, the art world, and other sectors have emerged, too.
In 2021, the enterprise blockchain industry was valued at $ 4.9 billion. Business demands are driving an accelerated compound interest growth rate of 54.5%, and the industry is poised to be valued at a whopping $ 246 billion by 2030.
Hence, it is recommended that companies understand exactly how blockchain can be used in business to transform, drive more value from their tech stack, and transform operations. Companies making early investments in blockchain-powered enterprise applications have a higher potential to build a competitive edge in their fields.