With the rapid pace at which Information Technology progresses, it is understandable that many organisations feel that they are unable to remain up-to-date in all its many areas. Between personnel shortages, lack of up-to-date skills and knowledge, and budget constraints, many businesses may be feeling like their IT strategies aren’t as cutting edge as they would like.
While changes in the IT sector may result in businesses’ strategies falling out of date, it also helps create new solutions to make businesses more agile to the changes of the sector. An example of this is blockchain – famously associated with Bitcoin and the scores of other cryptocurrencies that followed it.
Blockchain is widely considered to be one of the most revolutionary and disruptive technologies of the 21st century. For years now it has been slowly creeping into various mainstream sectors, and transforming industry leaders’ perspectives as to how they can operate.
So, how exactly does blockchain fit into the ever-changing landscape of IT?
IT Paradigm Shift
Traditionally, IT departments were primarily concerned with resolving helpdesk tickets, the cost per tickets, rate of resolution, and user satisfaction. Of course, these will always be high priorities among IT managers and service providers, but as the technical demands of organisations change (in part due to our increased reliance on technology) so have the responsibilities and priorities of IT departments.
For instance, companies providing IT support services in London are increasingly prioritising the rollout of new technologies, and helping their clients establish new approaches and practices that will help increase business security, productivity, and more.
Blockchain technology has great potential in improving automation capabilities. In the context of IT support, this translates to automating service management processes; this is largely to do with the concept of distributed ledgers, which supports the secure transit of data between systems. In other words, IT departments could enable much more secure, streamlined communications. This could in turn help IT departments streamline case management, resulting in better resolution rates.
Blockchain & IT outsourcing
More and more businesses nowadays are opting to outsource their IT requirements to third-party providers. This is in part due to the difficulty of sourcing and retaining IT talent. With up-to-date knowledge of new technology being more in-demand that ever, and IT job markets becoming saturated, it can be difficult to acquire top-notch IT experts. The companies that are most capable of acquiring relevant expertise are IT service providers, hence the increase in popularity.
While IT outsourcing can be very cost-effective in the long-term, it can be a lot more complicated. A major consideration with IT outsourcing is bringing a high level of confidentiality and integrity data exchanges. With third-party IT support providers potentially handling very sensitive information, they need to be able to guarantee the security of that data.
With blockchain, all data on the ecosystem is completely decentralised – information is stored across multiple servers, in virtual blocks that are virtually impossible to hack. These means that the data shared between a business and the IT service provider is very secure.
Blockchain networks have great potential for automating the flow and storage of information. It could be used to automate the way information is logged and processed as it comes in from clients. For example, an IT department could automate the process of logging cases, and ensure that client data goes directly to a blockchain network, rather than being logged by helpdesk personnel in an unsecured format (such as an Excel spreadsheet). When it is there, relevant members of the IT department could access the data as necessary to resolve the client’s technical issues.
Overall this would make the incident reporting process of IT departments not only more secure, but much more streamlined.