Article By Gina Clarke
10-years ago you might have just been setting up your first Facebook account or working out exactly what you could purchase from the app store on your phone. And while the decade has been a steep learning curve in how we use our personal technology, for the business industry it’s been more like a rollercoaster.
The newly published Deloitte Tech Trends 2019 report goes a bit further in its analysis. It’s been 10-years since the first trend report was released, this was when smartphones and mobile apps were gaining traction, and technologies like cloud and the Internet of Things were coming onto the scene.
The latest update explores how the convergence of new technologies is driving disruption across various industries. These trends are giving rise to new operating models, redefining the nature of work, and changing IT’s relationship with business (see the report’s executive summary here).
While Deloitte predicts a further fast pace into AI solutions, it also highlights how blockchain is growing rapidly in importance when we take into account the macro tech world and predicts that global spending on blockchain solutions will reach $9.7 billion USD by 2021.
Here, experts from the field have their say on the results.
According to Elias Haase, Co-founder and Community Manager of B9lab, the world’s leading provider of blockchain education and training, he thinks that the next 10-years will bring blockchain into mainstream organizations as a cost-saving measure that can help with compliance.
There are two key areas blockchain technology will impact. Over the next 10 years, large organisations will deploy the technology to reduce back-office cost, compliance risk, as well as improve ledger confidence. This will have an impact on many positions around compliance, internal enforcement, auditing, and insurance. On the consumer side, mobile computing has completely transformed the digital landscape and is changing the way we interact with reality. All secondary development from that around AR, location-based tracking, instant communication, and data collection have had — and will continue to have — impact on business as mobile is now largely the key user gateway.
In the space of public blockchain networks, we will see the emergence of new marketplaces and business models as absolute transaction costs and risk drop further. Smaller companies will be able to access and remix services that are unattainable now. We will see the development of public, decentralised infrastructure that is global and not dominated by an individual jurisdiction.
Many functions that currently require monolithic companies with a high degree of internal cooperation will be done by clouds of smaller organisations that can organize around a service or product in the blink of an eye. Contracts will be agreed, fulfilled, funds collected, distributed and settled within a single transaction. The next 10 years will show us what we can do with an infrastructure like that.”
For Nydia Zhang, Co-founder and Chairman of Social Alpha Foundation, a not-for-profit grant making platform supporting blockchain technology for social good, she believes that blockchain will be at the heart of new business models.
Blockchain has laid the foundation for the next 50 years of internet evolution. Through distributed, transparent, trustless systems, the failings of today’s internet may be remedied by blockchain technology, paving the way for new business models, new infrastructure, and new paradigms for how users connect and exchange value.
Blockchain will facilitate a breakthrough in boundaries to increase liquidity of value and even data beyond its historical database silos. Users will no longer be reliant on corporate or even sovereign silos, and will have direct ownership and control of their data, their money, and their work.
Blockchain’s greatest trick will be to disappear behind the layers of applications riding on top of its secure transparent machinery. It will empower the internet to evolve into the platform today and tomorrow’s users, enterprise, and even governments require.”
But Shaun Djie, Co-founder of Digix, the blockchain platform which makes gold bars easily divisible and transferable, thinks that the next 10-years could take us to new highs altogether.
Looking ahead to 2019, it is important also to look back at just how far we’ve come since the first “Tech Trends” report was issued in 2009. The digital economy today is almost unrecognisable when compared to that of ten, and even five, years ago – the rise of the smart economy has had profound ramifications on the worlds international business and communications networks. New data storage and transmission capabilities have allowed businesses to expand their global reach, as well as the quality of their services at an unprecedented rate.
There is no doubt that 2019 will see blockchain further disrupt an array of industries, improving the time and cost effectiveness in sectors as diverse and varied as traditional finance to academic publishing and consumer loyalty programmes. While blockchain remains a relatively young technology, there is no mistaking that we are at the forefront of a digital revolution, which has the capacity to transform the way we go about our day-to-day lives, creating a totally trustless and verifiable digital economy where everyone can rely on the integrity of their transactions. Looking back to 2009, it is clear that the technology ecosystem has undergone dramatic changes – but this transformation has really only just begun.”
As for Nick Cowan, Managing Director and Founder of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange Group Limited, he believes that blockchain will become a top priority.
When assessing the merits of various technological advances over the past ten years, it is hard to look past blockchain technology as the most significant. Looking ahead, Deloitte’s report identifies that global spending on blockchain solutions will reach $9.7 billion USD by 2021. For the majority of the business community, blockchain has emerged as a top priority. There has been a growing realisation around its potential to enable more efficient and transparent processes in traditional finance as well as a range of other industries, such as healthcare, entertainment, IT, and logistics.
The report acknowledges that technical and policy hurdles to mainstream adoption are being resolved, something we have experienced operating in a jurisdiction with a purpose-built Distributed-Ledger-Technology (DLT) regulatory framework which helps us provide our community of users with the highest standards in digital asset trading and security.”