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Blockchain benefits for electronics Taming complexity with better supply chain visibility

With the support of the Economist Intelligence Unit, the IBM Institute for Business Value surveyed 200 electronics leaders in 16 countries about their experience with, and expectations for, blockchains. We found that electronics organizations are beginning to explore blockchain technology by identifying key areas of benefit.

Fourteen percent of respondents indicated that their organization would develop commercial blockchain solutions at scale in 2017. These respondents, who we call Trailblazers, are those who are most enthusiastic about the potential of blockchains for their industry. They demonstrate this enthusiasm by predicting a high level of investment in the technology across business areas in 2018.

Trailblazers report that blockchains will help them reduce the frictions causing complexity in their industry. They have identified inaccessible information, restrictive regulation and invisible threats as the top frictions that blockchains could mitigate. This mitigation may improve Trailblazers’ ability to identify new business models, improve regulatory compliance and better anticipate disruption.

To begin, Trailblazers identified use cases with the greatest potential benefits of time, cost and risk. Blockchains can be used for asset and inventory management and component provenance to improve visibility across the supply chain and achieve these benefits while enabling organizations to explore new business models. Trailblazers also identified edge computing and digital marketplaces as use cases where new business models may emerge as industry adoption improves.

In this report, we share key insights into the market adoption of blockchain solutions. We also explore what differentiates early adopters — the Trailblazers — and how other electronics organizations can learn from their blockchain explorations.