Deloitte: US executives see compelling business case for blockchain

31 May 2018

A new survey from Deloitte found that three in four executives see a compelling business case for blockchain technology. Almost half consider blockchain a top strategic priority. Demand for expertise is also reflected in the senior leadership at major consultancies, including Deloitte, which have dramatically expanded the scope of their blockchain investments.

Big Four professional services firm Deloitte conducted a survey of more than 1,000 senior executives at leading corporations in seven developed economies. What they found was a shift from “blockchain tourism” to serious efforts to develop practical business applications for the emerging technology.

Almost three quarters (74%) of the leaders interviewed said their organizations see a “compelling business case” for adopting blockchain technology. This enthusiasm is being translated into action. Just over a third (34%) said their organizations are already using blockchain in some capacity, while 41% said they expect their teams to harness the technology within a year.

"We are at an inflection point — momentum is shifting from a focus on 'blockchain tourism' and exploring the technology's potential to building practical business applications," said Linda Pawczuk, a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP and the head of Deloitte's U.S. financial services blockchain group. 

"I regard these blockchain-savvy executives' views as a leading indicator. As more organizations put their resources behind this emerging technology, we expect blockchain to gain significant traction as its potential for greater efficiency, support for new business models and revenue sources, and enhanced security are demonstrated in real-world situations."

Linda Pawczuk, Head Of Blockchain

Those who see the business case are prepared to invest heavily. Four in ten respondents said their organization would invest $5 million or more in the next 12 months. A slightly larger proportion (43%) said that they considered adoption of blockchain technology among their top five strategic priorities. The most enthusiastic response was seen from the 84% of respondents who believe blockchain is destined for mainstream adoption.

With six in ten executives acknowledging blockchain’s potential to disrupt and transform their industry, many are looking for collective solutions to broaden their knowledge and future-proof their organizations. Nearly 30% have already joined a blockchain consortium (including Deloitte itself which recently joined Ethereum Alliance and Hyperledger) while 45% say their organizations are likely to join one soon.

Asked about how they plan to use blockchain technology, 53% of executives mentioned its potential to optimize supply chains, 51% referred to the Internet of Things (Iot) and related integration projects, while 40% discussed digital record keeping. Other popular uses included payment applications and cryptocurrency development.

One in five (22%) respondents, however, still maintain that they don’t see the advantages of blockchain for their business. This figure rises to 30% among US executives, who are also more likely than average to believe that blockchain is “overhyped” – a view shared by 44%. 

44% of US executives believe blockchain is overhyped

"While this may seem like blockchain is trending in the wrong direction, we believe this change in attitude is more reflective of the shift toward the pragmatists in the blockchain community," said Pawczuk.

"We're still early in blockchain's development, so fits and starts in its maturation are not surprising." said Joe Guastella, global leader of Deloitte's financial services consulting team. "In financial services, the technology has already inspired the industry to re-examine processes and functions that have been static for decades. We are broadly seeing applications in production – as well as developing them ourselves for clients – and we believe this momentum will continue."

Consulting firms are themselves investing heavily in blockchain, for both its practical business applications and to get ahead of growing client demand. Deloitte, Infosys, and Marsh are all part of the growing Ethereum Alliance – which is on a mission to establish a robust regulatory platform for blockchain technology. EY is working with Towers Watson on a maritime supply chain blockchain solution, while KPMG recently announced it would accept cryptocurrency as payment for its advisory services.

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Publicis Sapient named a leader in digital transformation

21 March 2019

A recent analysis and ranking from Forrester on digital transformation firms has placed Publicis Sapient in the leader category, alongside other top performers including McKinsey and Accenture.

Paris-based advertising and PR giant Publicis purchased digital marketing firm Razorfish from Microsoft for more than $500 million in 2009. In 2015, it put down $4 billion to buy Boston-based digital transformation firm Sapient. In 2016, Publicis fused Sapient’s advertising and marketing arm SapientNitro with Razorfish to create SapientRazorfish. Earlier this year, Publicis merged the latter entity with Sapient Consulting to create Publicis Sapient, an end-to-end digital transformer that combines strategy, consulting, and customer experience to drive successful digital change.

The unified brand has now been recognized as a leader in market research firm Forrester’s Q1 analysis of digital transformation accelerators. The other firms recognized as leaders were Accenture, EY, McKinsey & Company, PwC, and IBM.

Forrester’s report helps executives select the right consultancy for their needs. According to the market researcher, many digital transformations stall when they target short-term gains in customer experience and operational efficiency without tying the effort to true market understanding and a broader business strategy. The digital leaders on Forrester’s list are more likely to deliver the full package needed for success.

Publicis Sapient named a leader in digital transformation

The top firms are also more likely to provide the “speed of design and execution” vital to digital success. According to the Forrester analysis, the leaders “blend strategy and execution chops and couple them with the soft skills for inspiring leadership and training teams. CIOs and digital executives should look for providers that: have the capabilities to design business for change [and] can seamlessly integrate emerging technologies to design new experiences.”

Publicis Sapient was lauded for its effective customer research in support of digital transformations, its world-class digital experience design capabilities, and its performance-driving outcome-based contracts. The analysis did, however, find room for improvement in the company’s ability to advise on strategy at the CEO level.

With the creative and marketing roots of SapientNitro and Razorfish – and the resources of Publicis – the firm is a top consultancy on the customer experience front. “Publicis Sapient is an especially strong partner where the transformation emphasis is on creating world-class digital customer and employee experiences,” the report states.

"We are honored to be recognized as a Leader in this space and believe that it is a proof point of the success of our unique approach to helping clients on their constantly evolving digital transformation journeys," Nigel Vaz, Public Sapient CEO, said.The integration of our capabilities across strategy and consulting, experience and engineering, along with creative problem-solving, provides us with a unique view of both the company and the customer to enable end-to-end transformation."

Among those placed in the “Strong Performers” category were Deloitte, KPMG, Capgemini, Cognizant, Wipro, and Atos. TCS, Infosys, and DXC Technology ranked in the “Contenders” category.