Blockchain is The Next Evolution of Digital Record-Keeping
Digitization has both aided and hindered knowledge workers, including asset managers, CPAs, lawyers, accountants, and bankers.
Today, they grapple with scattered information across various systems like emails, spreadsheets, CRMs, and document management systems. However, this common approach has become increasingly problematic and inefficient, with research indicating that up to 40% of a knowledge worker's day is spent searching for information. This loss of organization and accessibility outweighs the gains in speed and convenience brought by digitization, a frustration experienced by many in knowledge-based professions.
In the realm of record-keeping, digitization has helped and hindered the day-to-day lives of asset managers, CPAs, lawyers, accountants, bankers — everyone who can broadly be described as “knowledge workers” or people who manage and develop knowledge for a living. Today, knowledge workers deal with information scattered throughout multiple disparate systems. We use everything from email flags and folders to workflow management systems such as spreadsheets, customer relationship management systems (CRMs), and document management systems to organize information and activities.
Even though this approach has become the norm from small offices to major international corporations, it’s increasingly problematic and highly inefficient. Our research shows that locating information can take up to 40% of the average knowledge worker’s day. If you’re engaged in knowledge work, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of this lost time yourself.
What we’ve gained in speed and ease, we’ve lost in organization and access. Throughout my career as a trust and estate lawyer, I embraced the convenience of computer documents, although I was disappointed by the unorganized, unreliable nature of digital filing.
Here’s why knowledge workers should strongly consider implementing blockchain technologies to change how they organize and manage information and work activities.
We often emphasize how much better communication and information sharing have gotten that we forget to ask, “Is my technology truly serving me?”
The answer today, more often than not, is no.
The issue, however, lies with both the technology and the user.
Typical offices use five to seven different systems to organize and manage work activities. No single system contains the whole story. Over time, we have become careless about the random pieces of information. For example, a colleague recently complained about a minor issue that directly reflects the much larger one I’m referencing here. He explained that a company-wide email thread regarding the annual firm picnic was circulating between offices when someone brought up a complex, off-topic question regarding tax election. The responses are likely helpful information to many people—but won’t be easily referenced as they exist in an email thread titled “Annual Firm Picnic.”
While our many digital tools are powerful and intuitive, we’re still left with a fractured whole. “Here’s a tool for this, here’s a program for that” is how company technicians typically piece together incohesive digital frameworks. As a result, our information systems become a mess of a chaotic mixture of data fragments.
We need systems that support knowledge work by creating digital knowledge.
We need systems that allow us to see the context of the whole story to make inferences, not separate lists of documents, departments, and activities. An ideal digital system enables knowledge workers to view all the information, see how it’s all connected, and then draw meaning from it—without spending hours digging for each related piece. Most systems store information in many different places, then try to piece it back together (or require the user to).
This realization led me to develop iPaladin, a private blockchain-powered knowledge platform that allows offices to model communications, services, workflow, meetings, and documents like the paragraphs of a story. A complete history is preserved, increasing accessible business intelligence allowing current leaders to leave businesses in a better place than when they started.
I don’t want to spend 40% of my time searching for information. And our clients are in the same boat. One client of ours is a retired CEO who recently took a position managing a family office. He told us, “I feel like I’m drowning. I’m working 70 to 80 hours a week. I can’t find anything. I’ve never worked so hard in my life.”
But he was an industry pro. It wasn’t an ability issue —it was an access issue.
This is a solvable problem. We don’t have to break up our information into multiple disparate systems only to spend valuable time trying to put it back together again. We need the right technology to solve that problem—and blockchain happens to be the most effective way to do so.
Credit - Jill Creager - CEO & President iPaladin
2022, Brad S., MFO Founder/CEO
2022, Susan L., Principal Accounting Advisor
2021, Tebbi P., SFO Office Leader
2019, Scott W. SFO Executive
2021, James K., Partner MFO Business Leader