Businesses are like sharks, they have to keep moving to stay alive. While repeat customers are great, without new customers a business can’t grow and expand to meet new challenges. Combine that with the spread of technology that allows for easier communication over long distances and you can see why businesses all over the world are expanding their reach and finding new customers.
Expanding business beyond your neighborhood comes with a price though.
Of course, there are surface level cultural hurdles. In the U.S. that could mean basing your production schedule around a supplier who doesn’t operate on Saturdays because their entire town shuts down to watch college football. On a global scale, that could mean running a meeting appropriately to match your customers’ cultural expectations, and all of this is not even considering the different regulations you have to deal with when doing business somewhere outside your own city.
The point is that if you want to expand your business beyond your city, you’re going to have to pay for every customer by breaking through cultural and regulatory burdens. What if there was a foundational business code that every business in the world uses though? A system that cut down on time lost due to miscommunication and regulatory hurdles without compromising the integrity of the product or business transactions?
The bad news is the countries of the world will never unify their cultures and regulations to make things easier for international business. The good news is that right now some of the most influential technology companies in the world are attempting to do just that but with cybersecurity.
You may have heard of Blockchain technology as one of the most promising advances in modern cybersecurity, but the Linux Foundation is attempting to make it the foundation of how companies do business all over the world through a something called Hyperledger.
Hyperledger is a collaborative effort between over 200 companies and organizations, including leaders of the technology, banking, and manufacturing industries led by the Linux Foundation to create and support an open-source platform to create and improve Blockchain technologies. The goal is to create industry-specific global networks with the same sound security features to not only better protect digital transactions and communications but also simplify modern business.
It’s kind of like if everyone within an industry started speaking the same language when it came to handling vulnerable information, and right now the language that Hyperledger is being used to build is growing and gaining momentum.
Here’s how it works. Hyperledger is open sourced, which means that anyone can see and access the code that it runs on. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, you may be surprised to learn that the Linux operating system is open sourced. Of course, this would leave you asking how a company as successful as Linux could survive if everyone knows how their code operates. It works for Linux because by showing everyone how their operating system works, they not only get people to look through and improve or enhance their code for free but they also make their product more adaptable to fit the unique needs of each business since a prospective customer can see how the operating system runs and how it would need to be changed to fit their needs. The result is a better product that more people use.
That’s the goal of Hyperledger as well. By allowing anyone to see the inner workings of the platform, Hyperledger is the foundation for others to build applications using Blockchain technology that fit the unique needs of a business or industry. The more people and companies who use Blockchain technology, the easier it is to communicate safely and efficiently.
And that means business owners can sleep a little easier at night.
If all this sounds too good to be true then you should know that on February, 11 new organizations joined the group that supports and creates the Hyperledger body meaning that this idea is gaining traction, but what does all this mean for a small business owner who just wants to do a deal across their state?
At the moment, not very much, but what Hyperledger is doing could impact the rest of the world all the way from CEOs to small business owners. Until that time you can still familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of cybersecurity. You don’t have to be using Blockchain technology to benefit from better cybersecurity, all you need is a little knowledge and you can protect yourself much better than you ever thought.