It is evident that information plays a crucial role in today’s technologically driven markets. Many business professionals are discovering all the opportunities that new technology such as blockchain can do for their organizations. As more areas of business adopt blockchain technology, the benefits of this creation will increase more overtime. One of the areas of interest is Blockchain and Facility Management.
How do most of these professionals view blockchain technology? In the Gartner 2016 Board of Directors survey, 36% of them viewed blockchain/digital ledger technology as an opportunity while 21% viewed it as a risk to their business practices.
It is human nature to fear the unknown and new emerging technologies such as blockchain is no exception. Many heard briefly about blockchain on an online news segment or in conversation. It is crucial that these technologies be studied and made familiar to professionals across all industries as more organizations adopt them in the future.
What blockchain has to offer businesses regarding facility management and real estate?
First, one must understand that blockchain is a cloud-based, permanent, distributed digital ledger of activities between parties. The blockchain does not exist in one location, unlike traditional cloud-based systems that reside on privately owned servers.
Blockchain works through a multitude of computers that record an event or transaction. This record is known as a digital ledger that can be viewed by the public and cannot be hacked. While every computer on the blockchain can view the ledger, it offers a consensus that the recorded event is valid. Completing these actions through blockchain, removing the need of middleman in the process, will save time and money.
Facility management tasks completed via blockchain includes the recording of property transfers and asset digitization. Furthermore it includes occupancy of cubicles, HVAC system activities, even security access. This information is accessible on either a public blockchain or a private one.
Transparency, Information and security
Changes to the blockchain happen in real time and in view of all participants who have access. This improves transparency of information and security, making corruption less likely to occur. It also allows the application of smart contracts and cryptocurrency.
As an esteemed forecast, in a report by Gartner published in 2017 that the business value created by blockchain will grow to around $176 billion by 2025, then surge to $3.1 trillion by 2030. This kind of growth for an emerging technology is almost unheard of, especially for a technology that many professionals do not understand entirely.
Blockchain has yet to receive widespread notice in the real estate industry, however, the application of it could improve many aspects. Other industries are not so reluctant. The World Economic Forum has estimated that about 80% of top global banks will have launched some kind of blockchain relevant project by 2017.
The beauty of blockchain noticed by the banking industry is that the technology bases itself on a single source of truth. This is reinforced by a standardized approach to the collection and distribution of information populating the ledger and thus driving better decision-making.
Data, decentralized, shared and transparent
Shared and transparent data is better for utilization. Even better when shared among multiple levels of an organization that would previously not communicate. In real estate, this would include the interconnection between property documentation, maintenance history, building information modeling, building plans, etc.
There is already evidence that this interconnectedness of information allows for the accelerated pace of doing business. In the finance and insurance world, collaboration of information enables employees to move quickly through identifying use cases. This allows completion of pilot projects proceeding to the implementation phase in only a matter of months instead of years.
Therefore, it is only a matter of ‘when,’ not ‘if,’ blockchain will fall into the real estate industry.