Blockchain technology, are Accountants ready?

The Sleeping Giant

Blockchain technology is a hot topic for Accountants (Blockchain Collective 2019a). With the growing adoption of Blockchain worldwide, an awareness of the benefits and opportunities created, including the potential effect on many industry verticals, is an imperative (Nunan and Domenico 2013).

A variety of companies have marketed well and positioned themselves as a “Blockchain Expert”, “Blockchain Advisor”, “Blockchain Evangelist”, etc., without having sufficient experience or training to substantiate their claim. Conversely, extremely talented people don’t know how to position themselves very well for gainful employment (Ark 2018; Colony 2018).

There is also a second major market contrast, where a lack of people with appropriate Blockchain skills prevents work at scale. This occurrence is primarily due to Blockchain short courses that purport “Blockchain Expert” graduates with 4-5 hours of self-paced study per week over 6-8 weeks (typically 30-40 hours total study time).

The relevance and appropriateness of education is vital to satisfactorily address the required skills for Blockchain. With the number of Blockchain-related online job advertisements growing rapidly in Australia, well-coordinated and accurate marketing campaigns providing links to quality education will be vital.

The Awakening

Providing education is the foundation for a career in the industry, and niching, marketing, advertising, lead generation, sales, business development, accountability and networking all play a significant role. So, too, is the importance of not setting people up for failure by misaligning the narrative and outcomes that can be the case with some of the shorter educational courses on offer.

An Established Educator

Blockchain Collective (BC) has created Australia’s first accredited Advanced Diploma of Applied Blockchain. Their strategic approach to the application of Blockchain, as opposed to traditional technical Blockchain coding, has the potential to fulfil the needs of business from start-ups through to established enterprises looking to transition legacy systems (Blockchain Collective 2019b).

BC’s value proposition is designed to be very specific and very high value to a certain audience. Advertising starts at the beginning when analysing and discovering a market niche, and how value to that market can be offered. ‘Niching’ and specific conversations with interested individuals are imperative to assess where they are at, their concerns and what they really require. It is important that the power of ‘individual engagement’ and to maximise understanding is not underestimated.

Their sales process is a reflection of not merely trying to sell an individual an educational product. For example, the Advanced Diploma of Applied Blockchain or the Blockchain Mastery Program is directed to the correct audience commensurate with a strategy incorporating transparency and trust to build long-term relationships and expand impact.

The Redefine

Dilemmas facing the IT industry include a shortage of skilled people and at the same time, a tremendous amount of people who don’t actually understand what they are talking about, causing misrepresentation in the market (Haigh 2006). A perfect example of this is on social media and LinkedIn where purported Initial Coin Offer advisers claim Blockchain expertise to facilitate short term goals and quick crypto currency profits.

Co-founders of BC, Nathan Burns and Austin Lewinsmith, have been in marketing and sales for more than 30 years. While they are not saying that existing short courses are not good, they do believe that if their courses are undertaken, expertise will be more likely to occur. They believe accredited education can provide the highest level of accountability (Hyperledger 2018).

The co-founders argue that the difference between a good educational project and a bad one in the Blockchain space comes down to the ability to interpret how Blockchain effects an organisation’s value proposition, where the new value creation is, identification of risks and the governance processes in place. All of these components play an important role and if the strategic application is not done well, then there is a high probability that the project will not be successful.

Another key factor around marketing that can be problematic is misrepresentation and misalignment (Harrison & Hartley 2007). BC counters this by fortifying the position of their accredited education, which has also been certified by leading industry bodies, and that successful graduates have demonstrable skills.

BC places a significant focus on ethics, customer experience and customer outcomes. They invest in spending quality time on consultation to find out what is required and by doing so can be sustainable and empower many experts.

With new digital megatrends emerging it is unlikely that the work of accounting will remain the same. As the future emerges more Blockchain will be enabled, and for those that do not plan ahead and understand the change interoperability will become disabled (Firat et al. 1995).

The Future Is In Your Hands

Those building a Blockchain project through a start-up in an existing business or via consultancy should give serious consideration to good Blockchain education (Brown 1993). If you want to turn Blockchain into a career then completing the Advanced Diploma of Applied Blockchain should be considered (Blockchain Collective 2019b).

It’s really going to take a significant mindset shift around individual accountability, and best practice (Hyperledger 2018).

References

Ark, T, V 2018, ‘20 Ways Blockchain Will Transform (OK, May Improve) Education’, https://www.gettingsmart.com/2018/08/20-ways-blockchain-will-transform-ok-may-improve-education/

Blockchain Collective 2019a, ‘Is Blockchain technology the incoming bomb to the accounting’ sector? https://bccollective.io/blockchain-the-bomb-to-accounting/

Blockchain Collective 2019b, 10747NAT Advanced Diploma of Applied Blockchain, Empowering enterprise, educators and students for a future in blockchain’, https://bccollective.io/courses/advanced-diploma-of-applied-blockchain/

Blockchain Collective 2019c, ‘Australian blockchain education to be offered in UAE exclusively through Dubai Blockchain Center’, https://bccollective.io/australian-blockchain-education-offered-uae-dubai/

Brown, S 1993, ‘Postmodern Marketing?’, European Journal of Marketing, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 4–20

Burning Glass Technologies 2019, ‘Data-Driven Insight Into The Job Market’, https://www.burning-glass.com/

Colony, GF 2018, ‘CIOs and the Future of IT’, MIT Sloan Management Review, vol. 59, no. 3, pp. 1–7.

Firat, A, Dholakia, N & Venkatesh, A 1995, ‘Marketing in a postmodern world’, European Journal of Marketing, vol. 29 no. 1, pp. 40–56.

Haigh, G 2006, ‘Information Idol: How Google is making us stupid’, The Monthly, vol. 9, pp. 25–33.

Hyperledger 2018, ‘6 Blockchain Best Practices Enterprises Need to Know’, https://www.hyperledger.org/blog/2018/11/05/6-blockchain-best-practices-enterprises-need-to-know

Nunan, D & Di Domenico, ML 2013, ‘Market research and the ethics of big data’, International Journal of Market Research, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 505–520, doi: 10.2501/IJMR-2013-015 Reworks Agora 2018, ‘Blockchain: Grassroots initiatives for democracy’, https://reworks.gr/en/blockchain-grassroots-initiatives-for-democracy/