Blockchain in Europe: Key Insights from New Study

Blockchain in Europe: Key Insights from New Study

Ulrika Mann

Ulrika Mann,

Business leaders in Europe are fully aware of the potential introduced by blockchain, according to Cognizant’s recent study where 1,570 business decision makers were surveyed. To fully harness blockchain possibilities, however, they need to break through old mental models of company boundaries and markets, and grasp how blockchain could truly change the game by shifting entrenched views of institutional power.

While European companies have identified breakthrough ideas on how blockchain could solve some of the most pressing problems in business and society today, according to our study, there is a huge gap in their progress toward turning those ideas into reality, particularly from a strategic viewpoint.

 

Key insights from our study include:

  • Blockchain strategies are being created but must evolve. An overwhelming majority of respondents in Europe have either already defined (50%) their blockchain strategy or are in the process of doing so (47%). At the same time, however, blockchain is being treated like any other technology innovation rather than for its breakthrough potential.

 

  • Competitive advantage is a top driver for adopting blockchain, with 70% of respondents indicating that competitive differentiation is a major factor for pursuing blockchain initiatives. In order to truly harness blockchain as way to reinvent business, however, businesses need to move past traditional ideas of competition and markets and see blockchain’s key features – privacy, security, immutability, transparency, reliability, process integrity – as design elements for a whole new way of doing business that disrupts institutional power and invites open participation and collaboration.

 

  • Traditional business opportunities are being pursued. The top business opportunities named by respondents include the creation of new service lines (62%), customer segments (60%) and markets (58%). Fewer respondents, however, recognize the further reaching capability of blockchain to open up their internal assets to extract greater value, integrate themselves more directly into a network of business (i.e., by putting smart contracts on the blockchain), enable more customer autonomy or create and securely share “digital twins” and digital product memories to establish entirely new levels of transparency (see Quick Take, page 15).

 

  • Interest in collaboration is limited, with only 2% of respondentssaying they planned to join a consortium of start-ups and competitors as part of their blockchain pursuit. Most companies are working on blockchain opportunities internally, with only a few collaborating with external stakeholders or joining consortiums. This desire to drive their own blockchain agenda exemplifies the problem of older, legacy-based thinking.

 

To learn more, download the report Blockchain in Europe: Closing the Strategy Gap.