Article: Blockchain—Digitization of trust

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Blockchain—Digitization of trust

While disruption from blockchain is more commonly associated with areas like payments and capital markets, its impact on work, people and HR can be profound and pervasive.
Blockchain—Digitization of trust

The real promise of blockchain technology is not that it could make you a billionaire overnight but it could drastically reduce the cost of trust. In an interview with Rajesh Dhuddu, Blockchain Practice Leader at TechMahindra shares how the digitization of trust will create a revolutionary impact on the way organizations will work and manage the workforce. 

Q: While Blockchain’s implications for the finance industry are well-known, what kind of impact do you think it can have on the way we work? Can you share your perspectives on how the blockchain technology would create an impact on people’s talent and the future of work?  

A: Blockchain— a technology which is considerably redefining the way we transact, interact, and verify the authenticity of everything and anything!

Before I talk anything about this technology, I want to highlight one of the many features of this technology that makes it unique— Trust.

Blockchain is the new technology of trust. It combines openness of internet with security of cryptography to give everyone a faster, safer way to verify critical information and establish trust. The digitization of trust led to exchange of cryptocurrency between different individuals devoid of intermediaries and without resulting in double spending or paying the same unit of money to everyone resulting in loss of its sanctity.

The revolutionary role played by Blockchain in the financial function, by digitizing the money and trust involved in it, can be effectively implemented in all sectors. For instance, in the recruitment industry, blockchain technology allows peer-to-peer interaction thereby decreasing the middle-men cost and streamlining flow of data in hiring process. This technology will allow candidates to go directly to recruiters while keeping their data confidential.

Additionally, instead of assigning the background verification of candidates on centralized bureaus, the companies can create a network of blockchain where background information of an employee could be exchanged in an immutable manner and no misrepresentation of facts and information by anyone 

Hence, the technology will be instrumental in building a more transparent culture and foster trust between employees and employers.

Q: What kind of adoption rate have you seen in Indian organizations as compared to the world? What are the challenges that we are facing in adopting Blockchain?

A: The development and application of blockchain technology in India is little slower than other countries. 

One of the reasons for this sluggish growth is the unavailability of talent. On the contrary, countries like Russia and others in the European region, the people with strong expertise in mathematic working on blockchain. However, this is changing because of regulatory requirements. For instance, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has mandated that all Telcos should implement Blockchain to combat Unsolicited Commercial Communication (both calls & text). Once this comes into play, India will have over 1 billion users on a Blockchain network.

Like elsewhere in the world, in India too Blockchain adoption is high in Enterprise / Private Blockchain space covering Manufacturing, Financial Services, Insurance, Healthcare and other verticals. 

Blockchain is also increasingly being sought by government to eliminate corruption. Initially IT has been used to eliminate manual corruption. Now with the involvement of IT, corruption has become high tech; as such new age technologies are required to combat it. Blockchain will resolve the misconduct at a higher level. 

Q: How can we adopt it in HR to manage talent? Can you refer to an example from your organization?

A: At Tech Mahindra, we have developed a program called ‘BlockGeek’ to identify and train employees on blockchain technology. The first phase of this program involves a comprehensive two-day training program where employees are skilled in blockchain development. In second phase of the training program, employees are given opportunities to participate in blockchain projects. This entire program is maintained on 

Blockchain-based credential system so that there is a single source of truth and no one can misrepresent their experience. 

Q: What are the possible usages of blockchain to improve the way we work and improve business results?

A: I firmly believe that blockchain will create a revolutionary impact on employees. Today, due to absence of enabling technology it is impossible for a person to work for three different organizations. The reasons can be traced to a lack of mutual trust, visibility, and transparency accompanied by fear of losing the confidential nature of information or initiatives of an organization through their employees. This scenario can be changed with introduction of blockchain to break the barriers as companies will have visibility of what employees are doing in other organizations. Neither the leader nor the employee would be able to manipulate information when blockchain technology is adopted. 

Q: How do you go about implementing the technology?

A: There might be several unresolved problems in the company in the areas of talent management and recruitment. The identification of the functional requirement is the first step to be followed while adopting blockchain. Then you have to analyze and decide if blockchain is the right solution for the problem. 

This technology is usually implemented in an environment where multiple people are working using different databases/information sources with different incentives, rules governing them don’t vary much and see a need for single database so that there is a single source of truth. If such information can be held on public domain a Public Blockchain is used else it will be a Private Blockchain. 

Topics: HR Technology

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