Financial services firms need to develop a cohesive blockchain strategy, rather than taking on projects in a piecemeal fashion. Waiting for clarity before moving forward is not a viable option. Follow our advice to get going.
The following considerations can help financial services move forward on the best path toward a blockchain strategy:
- Develop a cross-functional team with a business sponsor to drive the strategy. Rather than emanating from IT, blockchain projects should be designed to address specific business problems or opportunities, and business stakeholders should be involved from the outset.
- Set clear goals. Assess whether blockchain is well suited to the business issue being addressed, and clearly specify the objectives that will be achieved.
- Don’t wait until costs and benefits are clear. Learning will be iterative, and costs and benefits may only become defined more clearly as the project progresses. In addition, many reasons to move forward are strategic in nature and cannot be quantified at the outset.
- Stay flexible. Recognize that blockchain is still in the early stages of development;
innovation will continue, and the infrastructure will evolve.
- Explore a variety of platforms, including both permissioned and permissionless. For each use case, choose a platform based on how well it is tailored to the business need, not the one that’s getting the most market attention.
- Don’t expect to retain as-is business processes and technology systems. Examine current processes and systems to determine if they need to be redesigned to fully leverage blockchain capabilities.
- Gain experience collaborating with other firms. Don’t underestimate the importance – and challenge – of managing the people side of change to create a culture of collaboration. Work with industry partners on blockchain projects and assess the obstacles in working successfully with external organizations.
- Focus on blockchain projects with real-world potential. The risk of doing nothing is greater than the risk of doing the wrong thing.