Should you rebuild your company’s tech stack in blockchain?

Michelle O'Keeffe

Michelle has been in marketing strategy for nearly 20 years and for the past seven has been CEO of Sydney headquartered digital technology agency, Engaging.io. Working with leading brands, Engaging.io uses human-centred digital strategy, design and development to enhance the customer journey and drive engagement for customers.


The question I get asked most regularly these days is: ‘Do I need to rebuild my company’s systems on Blockchain?’ And the answer, every time, is ‘No, you’re asking the wrong question’.

Ever since cryptocurrency became part of the zeitgeist, blockchain has been talked about, by some at least, as the panacea for business wanting greater security and transparency. However at a recent conference on blockchain, where present were the top tech experts from some of the country’s leading household brands, it was clear to me understanding of this emerging platform is poor. Blockchain as a platform has four distinct positive characteristics:

  • Security – It’s nearly impossible to hack
  • History – The records it contains cannot be altered
  • Transparency – It shows the complete transaction history of a record
  • Speed/cost – Public blockchain networks can negate the need to have a central governing body (but transaction processing time can be slow).

But companies’ systems these days usually consist of most, if not all of the following:

  • Bespoke, or highly customised CRMs
  • Marketing automation systems
  • Accounting software
  • Multiple analytics tools
  • Websites
  • Social platforms

It’s imperative these systems are well integrated and feed information backwards and forwards to each other, most of the time they’re not, and they don’t. And surprisingly enough, the bigger the company, the less likely it is that their systems ‘talk’ effectively to each other. The single most important aspect of these systems is their holistic architecture - in other words, how each of them serve the different objectives and touch points of the company, and how they share information with each other.

Get the system architecture right, and then you just need to ensure you’ve got the right humans powering and analysing them. It doesn’t matter how many millions you’ve spent on your IT, if you don’t have the right people or organisational structure to support those systems - and vice versa - they won’t be effective.

Get the system architecture wrong, and your business will be functioning on two wheels instead of four.

Read more: What blockchain will do to the experience economy

Big companies usually have big legacy systems they’ve invested a lot of time and money into, and whether it’s the right decision or not, they’re reluctant to let them go if they’re not quite working for them. That’s why ‘digital transformation’ specialists can help by mapping future needs and manage the change to get there. Back to blockchain.

As part of an holistic system architecture, blockchain can be an integral component, particularly if you need part of that system to be secure or auditable. But oftentimes, the functionality required around it is better performed by more traditional technology. Investing in blockchain technology because you think you should, or because others are doing it isn’t the right approach to be taking. Instead the best course of action should be getting a consultant to map out the business’ existing systems (and the problems that those systems are supposed to be solving) and work out if the existing systems are, in fact, solving the issues they’re supposed to be solving.

Then have someone put together an ‘optimised’ map and analyse the gaps (these gaps will likely be a combination of technology and people). This is the same process regardless of whether you’re wanting to use blockchain or not. Only then should a decision be made on if blockchain is the right solution for your business.

It may sound like it’s stating the obvious, but it’s clear the mystery surrounding blockchain is causing some, many of whom who should really know better, to rush into adopting this new tech opportunity, when in many cases it simply isn’t the right fit and could be a costly mistake.

Tags: emerging technology, Emerging Technologies, chief digital officer, marketing technology, Blockchain

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

State of the CMO 2019

CMO’s State of the CMO is an annual industry research initiative aimed at understanding how ...

More whitepapers

Blog Posts

How to create profitable pricing

How do we price goods and services? As business leaders, we have asked ourselves this question since the history of trading.

Lee Naylor

Managing partner, The Leading Edge

Sport and sponsorship: The value of event sponsorship

Australia’s cricketers captured the nation’s attention during their recent run to the semi-final of the ICC Men’s World Cup. While the tournament ultimately ended in defeat, for over a month it provoked a sense of belonging, hope and empowerment for millions of people across Australia. Cricket, and sport in general, has a near-unique ability to empower individuals, irrelevant of their background, demographic or nationality.

Nikhil Arora

Vice-president and managing director, GoDaddy India

AI ethics: Designing for trust

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes much more prevalent and increasingly a way of life, more questions are being asked than answered about the ethical implications of its adoption.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

I live the best deals at LA Police Gear.

Tyrus Rechs

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

Its absolute over priced acquisition. The CEO, must be fired for this all cash transaction. Absolutely no justification for prospective P...

about_face

Analysts question long-term play of SAP's acquisition of Qualtrics

Read more

Very well written Nikhil! Indeed this is a big ticket investment, but the impact on brand, sales and employee motivation should make it w...

Yugal Sachdeva

Sport and sponsorship: The value of event sponsorship

Read more

As someone with both experience in marketing and working with UiPath both, I can say that I cannot wait to see more marketing processes u...

CiGen RPA

What robotic process automation can do for marketers

Read more

10 Business applications of virtual reality (VR) technologyhttps://www.sendiancreation...virtual reality

sendian creations

The new wave of VR applications

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in