The goal of this paper is to evaluate blockchain technology in the context of value chain management, and identify the types of applications where the technology can potentially offer a real advantage over traditional solutions. We begin by providing a high-level overview of some of the technology’s main value drivers and barriers to adoption, the added value of combining blockchain with IoT and AI, and the role of standardization in helping to bring blockchain to the mainstream. We then look at a number of blockchain implementations touching on various aspects of value chain operations, and discuss the benefits they provide as well as some of their potential limitations. Finally, we offer our recommendations for steps decision makers should follow to increase the likelihood of successful blockchain implementations.
Our analysis indicates that under the right conditions, blockchain has the potential to improve visibility and traceability, facilitate collaboration, improve process efficiencies, and provide a secure audit trail. To reach its full potential, the technology needs to be further developed, concerns surrounding security and interoperability need to be addressed, additional standards should be developed, and people should become more knowledgeable about the technology and the ways to best utilize it.