The Greater Memphis IT Council held its second quarter thought leadership luncheon today, and our Chairman and CEO Mark Pryor served as a member of the panel. The event was moderated by Ben Amaba, Chief Technology Officer for Blockchain at IBM, and other panelists included Dale Chrystie, VP, Strategic Planning at FedEx Freight; Jim King, CEO & Founder at CoreRights; and Joel Tracy, CIO at IMC Companies.
Check out a few of the takeaways below.
Mark Pryor: Agriculture is a big deal. If you eat and wear clothes, you are affected by it. While it might be a complex industry, it impacts all of us. The industry as a whole is asking for traceability and transparency. There are not a lot of standards in the industry, and that causes slowness. We’re trying to create efficiencies – in addition to traceability and transparency – and blockchain will help us do that.
It’s like the telephone game. The end message is never how it started, and that can be funny. In business, though, it’s not so funny.
Jim King: The focus is centered around the supply chain, and trust is something we’re all working toward.
Mark Pryor: We’re working to provide provable information for business owners to make sound decisions, so they have trust in the transactions they’re making. It’s network-centric trust.
Dale Chrystie: The concept of trust has seemingly been a leap of faith. From this point forward, that trust is verified. There is data. That leads us to smart contracts. It’s no longer a leap of faith. It is objective trust.
Joel Tracy: There should be a public standard. We don’t want a bunch of “private” standards that don’t cross over. There might be slightly different standards for a few private organizations – for example, the Department of Defense – and those will need a high level security.
Mark Pryor: There is similarity between what happened in the early days of the internet. People went to the open, public, decentralized network. There is still a place for both the internet and intranets, but the focus is on connection and collaboration.
Dale Chrystie: There are tremendous benefits with blockchain technology. There is a ton of waste in our processes. We hope the single version of truth will help. It’s all in how we connect things.
Jim King: In order to create awareness and encourage continued education, we need to start with the business and economic model in which businesses operate. Then, we need to determine how this will apply to our business.
How can we create critical mass?
Joel Tracy: New technology is being developed every day, and adoption is happening rapidly. Blockchain will be adopted faster than the internet.
Mark Pryor: Education is so important. We’re all here today to learn more about blockchain; everyone is interested in how this works. Education is critical to generating critical mass. And if we want to ensure broad adoption, that will require everyone working together toward one mission – a concept known as coopetition.