Special thanks to Executive Connection for getting me connected with Mirza Chughtai for this weeks conversation. Follow Executive Connection on Twitter.
You can find the latest podcast at iTunes and on Google Play and on most popular podcast players. In this week’s episode, I sit down with Chief Digital Officer, Mirza Chughtai @mkchughtai and we discuss the implications of Blockchain disrupting customer experience across all industries. We also talk about the fundamental disconnect in many organizations trying to take on digital transformation in their companies and trying to adapt to the new digital world. Most companies are still hiding behind their operational inefficiencies and they are not changing their baseline operations to create and support a new digital identity that aligns to their value propositions.
We also venture into a discussion on how Blockchain, AI and Cloud will continue to be the same three technologies that will continue to drive change and transformation in every industry. How is data and information different? How many organizations treat them as the same?
A BLOCKCHAIN ANALOGY
With Blockchain it can be tricking on picking a starting point for an article or a podcast. Let’s start with a basic Blockchain analogy. Think about the roads we drive our vehicles on as a trusted network. You trust that the roads will be there when you need them to be. You trust that the rules of those roads will work the same, even in different cities and different states. But, to drive on these roads you need an ID that allows you to operate a vehicle to access and share these roads.
Now, think about the Internet, think about that as a digital road. There are rules that you follow to use this Internet. You trust that it will work a certain way. You go many different places on the Internet, but it will conform to the same basic rules. You need an ID to access the Internet.
Now think about the flaws in the ID we use for our roads. That ID system is flawed and easily hacked. Now think about the ID you need to access the Internet. That is a little more complicated. It is very easy to get on the Internet under a false ID and it is easy to pretend you are someone else. Even if you protect your ID, how do you really prove it is you? It usually comes back to some form of the same ID you needed to drive on the traditional real roads. Our current ID system is flawed… bigtime.
Now think of Blockchain as a road, that conforms to rules but can identify a user with absolute certainty. Only the users that are allowed on the road will be allowed on the road. They will only be allowed where the network has approved for them to go. With Blockchain, you have a distributed system, with built in trust and a secure digital identity.
Ok so maybe not the most basic example, but it is a tricky conversation. I am open to suggestions on making that more concise. When I do, I will make it into a fancy infographic that everyone can share.
We certainly believe Blockchain will disrupt everything. But here are just three examples of the disruption and change that Blockchain could bring us in the very near future:
The big manufacturers are already working with the technology as the underlying tech to create a new trusted, secure and distributed network. I was fortunate enough to attend a hands-on demo from Toyota just a few weeks ago, where they demonstrated how they are going to leverage this new tech for their automated and semi-automated vehicles. Every aspect of your vehicle would use Blockchain to communicate to everything around it, including other vehicles, toll booths, road signs, etc. Also, imagine a world where you don’t own a vehicle, but instead you own a share in a vehicle or a vehicle program. Instead of you having a garage with a vehicle in it, you ordered it up on your phone when you needed it. Maybe it is a different type of vehicle depending on your need for the day.
With Blockchain, the acceleration of these capabilities is already happening. Behind the scenes the tech can be used to improve inefficiencies in the supply chain to track parts, reduce fraud related to imitation parts as well as improve many other business processes that will create a much better customer experience.
A major source of contention is ID fraud on many levels. We hear about it all the time. It effects our lives every day and we are so used to it we just accept it. ID are a leftover artifact of the past, but so many systems and processes are designed around this flawed document. If my driver license expires, am I no longer me? Imagine a world where ID fraud didn’t exist, couldn’t exist. Imagine a world where we didn’t have IDs issued by our government, we had a digital key that followed us forever.
There are a lot of details that still need to be worked out. Many people are worried about face recognition and thumb recognition. Some are worried because it isn’t a unique system. Some are worried about are Social Security Numbers, and once those are stolen it could follow us around for life. How much of the credit industry is built on this flawed ID system? How much if it relies on these flaws. Blockchain will expose these flaws… we cannot use our poor operations as an excuse anymore.
There are so many aspects of Healthcare that could be improved. The billing, the dispute resolution, the fraud, the price gouging, etc… But, imagine a world where your doctor, or a team of doctors, had access to the daily real-time health data on your smart phone or smart watch. Imagine your doctor having access to the information at your local high-tech gym or smart equipment at home. How much more accessible could telemedicine be? What if your doctor preemptively analyzed your health data and could adjust your care accordingly. What if smart algorithms could predict issues before they happened?
At some point the opportunities for Blockchain start to overlap across all industries. People don’t want to do business with people they don’t trust. A system of trust can make that a moot point. Data does not create trust, information creates trust. The challenge is no longer capturing data, the challenge is what we do with that data.
Blockchain has many hurdles, and it will take some very smart people to make it all work. We are all digital tourists in a digital world. How will you make a difference?