Blockchain expected to become top digital business trend and disrupter in 2018

Blockchain technology is set to become the top digital business trend and disrupter in 2018, IT solutions and services firm Dimension Data has said in its latest report.

Together with artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and virtual and augmented reality, the technology behind Bitcoin has immense potential to disrupt and transform the world of money, business, and society.

Companies that have not started the digital investment cycle are at the “highest risk of being disrupted”, the report added.

“In the financial services sector, we’ve seen the US and European capital markets moving onto blockchain platforms, and similar activity in markets such as Japan. Considering how conservative and compliance-focused this sector is, that’s quite remarkable,” Ettienne Reinecke, Dimension Data’s group chief technology officer, says.

Referring to the WannaCry ransomware attack in May this year, Reinecke said: “(If) cybercriminals are confident that Bitcoin provides a safe mechanism for the payment of ransoms, it indicates just how secure the distributed ledger approach is. I believe that blockchain has the potential to totally re-engineer cybersecurity, but the industry has yet to come to terms with it”.

Dimension Data also predicted that more interesting applications of blockchain and IoT in the area of cybersecurity will emerge.

“Significant attacks have recently been launched from low-cost IoT endpoints, and there’s very little incentive for manufacturers of these devices to incur the cost of a security stack, which leaves them extremely vulnerable. Blockchain can play a fundamental role in securing these environments,” the company said in a statement.

A rise in new wireless technologies such as 5G and Gbps Wi-Fi will also enhance IoT and bring the world closer to pervasive connectivity.

Businesses can also expect to see a “digital fight-back” coming on as established businesses that have transformed into digital businesses try to claw back market share in the year ahead.

“I predict that a number of digitally transformed incumbents will successfully start reclaiming their markets because they have more credibility, longer histories, an established customer base, and assets that can stand the test of time,” says Reinecke.