The last decade has seen technological breakthroughs in robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual realities, and blockchain. Far from being a futuristic concept, these tools and technologies are already being used successfully in multiple industries.
Blockchain: evolving beyond the future of data security
Take blockchain, for example. This technology, when first explored, can be seen as the future of data transfer. In reality, however, blockchain is already making significant changes in our daily lives as consumers demand more transparency in the products they buy.
Have you ever wondered if the fair trade logo on the chocolate bar or coffee pot you bought is genuine? With the blockchain, every piece of information – from the exact GPS coordinates of the cocoa tree to the manufacturing plant, to the logistics provider and to the retailer is digitized and recorded in an encrypted format, then recorded in a single trusted source. Whether a consumer wants to verify ethical sourcing, sustainability, or the authenticity of the product they have purchased, blockchain is the technology that verifies every step of the supply chain and validates the authenticity of information.
The future promises to be dynamic, experimental and sustainable
The success of any future technology depends on its dynamic, experimental and sustainable nature. The blockchain meets all three criteria; in simple terms, “the future is now”.
To be dynamic, industries must adapt to environmental or technological changes. Being dynamic means being a force for change that motivates, affects development or challenges the existing state. Blockchain matches this approach by taking information already available in multiple places, and not only securing it, but providing access to anyone along the supply chain, including the consumer. The daily discovery of new uses and their potential to solve real-world challenges shows the dynamic nature of technology. From increasing the effectiveness of disaster relief to improving consumer services, a wide range of uses are being explored. Blockchain in the global logistics and supply chain market alone is expected to reach $ 3.3 billion by 2026. In fact, when blockchain works with other emerging technologies, it becomes even more efficient and impactful to provide users with detailed product information throughout the supply chain. .
Likewise, to be experimental, the attitude of trial and error and imagination is crucial to being progressive. The simplicity offered by the blockchain allows industries to experiment with its uses. This can lead to the creation of new business models and more efficient processes within an organization. For example, life-saving pharmaceuticals and emergency medical supplies, including the COVID-19 vaccine, often come with specific temperature and shelf-life preconditions. The integration of blockchain and IoT can increase the traceability and reliability of information about critical medical shipments throughout the supply chain.
Sustainable development has also been a driver of change in business practices and the range of products offered. A report by Capgemini Research points out that 60% of Indian consumers have actually cut spending from organizations they perceive as unsustainable. Fueled by the need to promote awareness of environmentally responsible practices, many manufacturers and retailers are actively taking steps to reduce their carbon emissions and keep consumers informed. Here, the blockchain plays a vital role in creating a clear record of product history and the sustainable sourcing initiatives adopted, which enables consumers to make a more informed purchasing decision.
Disruptive technologies like blockchain are delivering the future … now
To be successful, technologies must be dynamic, experimental and sustainable. Moreover, for a new or innovative technology to have a lasting impact, these technologies must have clear applications in the real world. Blockchain is a prime example of a future disruptive technology unfolding in the present, empowering both consumers and industries. The logistics industry is ready to respond.
Jack Muhs is Regional President of FedEx Express Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa.
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