At IBM’s Think 2018 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, the computing giant pushed for businesses to break out and adopt blockchain technologies.
Company leaders say the emerging technology is triggering a global movement effecting “supply chains, financial services, government and healthcare” as leaders experiment on active blockchain networks to redefine the fundamentals of business transactions.IBM also highlighted its development of the world’s smallest computer, which was designed to help companies integrate the blockchain by verifying the authenticity of goods as they are shipped around the world. The chip is smaller than a grain of rock salt and costs less than 10 cents to make.
Blockchain: The $3.1 Trillion Industry
IBM’s general manager of blockchain, Marie Wieck, also detailed how the widespread use of the technology would have a $3.1 trillion-impact on the global economy. Speaking withThe Australian Financial Review, she highlighted research from Gartner whichestimatesthe value-add of the blockchain economy at just over $176 billion by 2025, with a run-up to over $3.1 trillion by 2030.
Some of those gains are already being realized in the United Arab Emirates. Wieck pointed to Dubai as a world leader in blockchain adoption. Their Smart Dubai initiative, supported by the government, aims to eliminate paper-based systems that consistently underpin inefficiency. They plan to tackle visa applications, bill payments, real estate records and transactions, license renewals and carbon emissions by managing it all on the blockchain.
As Technology Advances, IBM’s Treatment of Employees Is Under the Microscope
An investigative report byProPublicaentitled“Cutting ‘Old Heads’ at IBM”issued a startling analysis, that as IBM “scrambled to compete in the internet world, the once-dominant tech company cut tens of thousands of U.S. workers, hitting its most senior employees hardest and flouting rules against age bias.” It’s a gripping and thorough takedown that leaves little ambiguity about how Baby Boomers are finding themselves in the crosshairs of technological efficiency.
“Just as importantly, business needs the gray hairs just as much as the old heads need and want the work. What businesses can’t afford to do is simply rehire their experienced workers and put them back into their old jobs. Businesses have to think smarter than that. They must learn to leverage the experience and practical intelligence of mature people, and get them to work with younger colleagues and reinvest their experience back into the business.”
While IBM is urging businesses and governments to reinvent themselves by embracing the blockchain and is building initiatives around cryptographic anchors and digital transactions tocombat product fraud, for example, corporate governance across every industry will need to turn itsattention to workersaround the world. Exploration of tech will go hand in hand with debates about deleted wages and the exploration of universal basic income and other concrete plans to help displaced workers and the homeless.