By @SimonCocking interesting interview with Lory Kehoe, EMEA Blockchain Lab Deloitte
What are Deloitte doing in relation to fintech & blockchain? In Ireland in particular and the world in general?
Deloitte globally has made Digital transformation a huge priority and blockchain specifically is one of its strategic priority initiatives. We are helping our clients understand the digital revolution which is underway in all industries and sectors and in particular in financial services. Our job is to educate and work closely with our clients to help them incorporate digital technologies so that they can deliver amazing customer experiences as well as driving cost saving initiatives.
The Deloitte EMEA blockchain centre of excellence, based in Dublin, now has a team of 30 people fully dedicated to working on the technology. We help our clients go on a blockchain journey from awareness to education to proof of concept to pilot, right the way through to implementation.
What are some of the projects or even use cases/ you are currently working on?
Over the last nine months we have seen a significant increase in interest in blockchain technology with public service entities and non- financial services companies. One cross-industry and cross-sector area that we are working on with several clients from around the world is supply chain. Due to blockchain’s immutable data characteristic, it helps show provenance of products (e.g. from farm to fork). What consumers, companies and regulators increasingly want is the ability to be able to show where a product came from, how and where it was assembled, how it was transported and ultimately delivered. In that scenario, blockchain acts as the single source of immutable truth for all the connected parties to work from. Smart contracts are then used to trigger automatic payments once goods are received. For example, once a shipping container arrives in a port, a machine will scan the container and that in turn will trigger an automatic payment to be made, thus getting rid of paper invoices, significantly reducing manual work and speeding up the payment process for both parties.
What about other blockchain COEs around the world (i.e. NY, Hong Kong)?
Deloitte is very proud to now have in place three blockchain centres of excellence. I am proud to say the first one was here in Dublin, New York City was next and recently we launched our Hong Kong lab. Each of these facilities is designed for us to work collaboratively with our clients to explore blockchain technology in a meaningful way. What I mean here is that they investigate using the technology to result in a tangible business benefit such as creating a new, better and differentiated customer experience. It could also be creating a new operating model or a way to achieve material cost savings. What we do well is to cut through the hype around blockchain and help our clients to create exciting use cases and make them a reality.
What are some of the biggest pain points you expect blockchain to solve, based on your conversations with clients in Ireland?
One of the areas we are working on in Ireland / the EMEA lab is KYC or know your customer. Onboarding new customers is hard, takes a long time and is the definition of ‘friction’ in a process. We are looking closely at how emerging and cutting edge technologies, like blockchain, can be used to make it easier for customers to open a bank account or buy a financial product (within regulatory guidelines) but also reduce the ever increasing costs of this repetitive task for our clients. Our goal is to create a solution which benefits consumers and our clients.
How does Deloitte work with clients
We create immersive blockchain experiences for our clients. These can last 90 mins or 3 days depending on how deep the client wants to go. Following these experiences, we start building proofs of concept and pilots all the way through to implementing the technology.
How soon will they become mainstream initiatives?
Deloitte has helped and is helping many clients harness the power of emerging technologies such as blockchain, AI, and cognitive automation. There is a myth that blockchain is years away from being implemented, however, we are seeing its implementation already in projects with our clients. For example, we recently helped DNV GL implement a blockchain based solution in a live production environment. This is the first of many live implementations of blockchain technology and we are proud from a Deloitte global, EMEA and Irish perspective to be the first to bring this technology from the proof of concept stage and into reality. There are more details here: