Subscription box services are a huge trend in e-commerce. Whether the contents are carefully selected by the customer [Blue Apron, Dollar Shave Club] or come in the form of a mystery box [Ipsy, Bark Box], people love this business model.

Image Source – Subscription Box Business

Buyers love the personalized surprise every month, while sellers love the predictable income due to recurring fees. It’s also satisfying to source specialty items and cater to a specific niche of discerning customers.

Why It’s a Blockbuster Idea to Start a Subscription Service

The subscription e-commerce market has jumped 100 percent annually for the past five years. According to a recent Forbes article, e-commerce subscribers are in the sweet 25 to 44-year-old demographic and bring home $50,000 to $100,000 a year. Although many current subscribers live in urban environments of the northeastern U.S., the market is growing exponentially. In fact, about 15 percent of online shoppers have one or more subscriptions to get products via monthly box services.

Women make up 60 percent of subscribers, but men are the ones most likely to have at least three active subscriptions to avoid trips to the store. Let’s look at the types of box services currently available in the market.

Three Types of Subscription Box Services

The different box types appeal to the core reasons people love getting them. Some subscribers want a monthly surprise, while others want to pick out each item for an uber-customized package.

  1. Build-A-Box – Customers choose each item from a list. Food and meal plan businesses often work off this model to provide variety and flexibility to clients.
  2. Mystery Box – Subscribers don’t know what they’ll get each month. The box includes regularly available merchandise as well as limited edition products. It provides a rewarding customer experience that increases profits and moves inventory quickly.
  3. Membership Model – This subscription resembles a Costco membership for a monthly fee. It grants access and purchase ability at the store. Membership models build customer loyalty and up-sell capabilities.

How to Build a Subscription Box Business in Eight Steps

Let’s look at each stage of building a subscription box business.

  1. Start with a great idea – Think of products and services that would appeal to a specific market. Common themes are makeup, fitness, or food. When figuring out your niche, get as specific as you can. For example, the categories above can be segmented further into glamour makeup, martial arts equipment, and workout snacks.
  2. Research potential customers – The more honed-in each box is, the easier it is to sell to a specific group of customers. This lets you optimize retention and customer experience.
  3. Develop a prototype box – Try out prototypes in sample markets to get feedback on each component. The idea is to develop a product your target customer will be delighted to receive every month.
  4. Pre-launch by building a community that can get the word out – Use online content, contests, and other strategies to generate buzz and collect email addresses.
  5. Pre-sales phase – This is where you convert test markets and leads to your first paying subscribers.
  6. Show me the money – Presales revenue lets you build and ship the first month’s boxes.
  7. Build – Grow your target demographic to achieve predictable monthly revenue. Use smart tools to manage your inventory and figure out the right quantities to buy. There are free economic order quantity [EOQ] calculators online that can help.
  8. Encourage word of mouth, shares and referrals. If your product is great, people will come back, but it’s equally important to get new customers in the early stages.

Two Manufacturing and Supplier Tips

The production of items for your boxes is a major consideration. Will you outsource this or handle it in-house?

  1. Negotiate – One of the most difficult things to negotiate is what percentage of the subscriber fee the supplier gets. Consider a per unit, per click, or per minute model that’s appropriate for your industry.
  2. Do it yourself – In the subscription business model, the more you can do yourself, the better. In-house sourcing is streamlined and gives an entrepreneur more control over quality and productivity. It comes down to cost and efficiency, but if you have the wherewithal to do so, this is the preferred sourcing.

Two Important Lessons from Successful Subscription Businesses

  1. Price it right – Establishing a price point involves how much you offer and how often, which lets you predict costs. it takes some research to stay competitive and set a realistic margin expectation based on the local market.
  2. Focus on both growth and retention – Customer retention is vital once you establish a steady subscriber base. Business owners must watch competitors and gather feedback from current subscribers. Product development and services should embrace new technology to enhances both the brand image and bottom line. Take Netflix for example. The subscription-based business constantly adapts to ensure growth.

Conclusion

Ultimately, you need to convince your customers that your products or services are worth paying a monthly charge. The way to do this involves maintaining the speed, quality and customer service your subscribers deserve. Then, it’s a no-brainer, and you’re on your way to becoming a sought-after brand with no problem turning a one-time interaction into a continuing relationship.

References1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

About the Author

Laura Gayle is a full-time blogger at BussinessWomanGuide. She regularly writes on business, entrepreneurship, & e-commerce. You can contact Laura here.

In today’s era all small and large corporate are sitting on a gold mine of data, however, the biggest challenge they are facing to use these data to get business insights which they can to take effective business decisions and optimize their business.

Image Source – Business Optimization

‘Data Science’ is one of the most talked about topics in the CXO community and even leading analysts like Gartner and Forrester have quoted 2018 as a milestone year for organizations, with over 70% of them expected to leverage Data Science for Business Optimization.

Data Science is an automated method to analyze massive amount of data from various sources and extracting insights from them. Data science starts with examining raw data followed by applying statistical techniques for the purpose of drawing business related conclusions about the information and for modelling and predicting business outcomes.

According to recent industry reports, by the year 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet. Hence, unraveling insights from this enormous amount of information will require the seamless adoption of big data technologies, stronger data security, and integration of AI, machine learning and cognitive technologies applications with business operations.

In 2018, the following trends around Data science and Big Data would likely surface. Trends which include – Prescriptive analytics is poised to drive proactive decision-making, which would impact HR processes; Demand for data scientist will substantially increase, while finding data scientists will be an equally arduous task; Cognitive technologies and Artificial Intelligence [AI] will help reshape business processes; Machine learning [ML] is fast becoming the fulcrum of big data platforms and analytics; Enterprises will increasingly adopt a cloud-first strategy and cloud-based platforms for big data analytics.

Use Cases – Key Success factor for any Data Science Program
There are 2 key success factors when it comes to a Data Science program. First one is the identification of the right business use case and the second one is the availability of underlying data. While many organizations are in the process of preparing their systems to be able to apply Data Science and reap its true benefits, the true challenge is with nailing down the right business cases. Business use cases always needs to start with expected outcome and has to be a combination Business Benefits, Organizational Readiness and Technical Complexity.

Business use cases are often specific to the industry and it is important to select the right use case for your data science program based on your industry.  Let’s look at the top practical use cases by each Industry.

Conclusion

Unlike traditional analytics, Data Science programs are focused on a more specific optimization area but yield multi-fold business value. The key lies in the selection of the apt business use case and program execution – right from the data understanding to model deployment. Most of the successful data science program are executed in an iterative manner to refine the scope of the business case to achieve the desired outcome.

About the author

Srinivasan Rengarajan is the VP & Global Head of Data Science and Analytics at 3i Infotech Ltd. More details about him can be found here

The General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR], adopted in April 2016 after four years of deliberations, is now in force. The regulation made headlines around the globe with its stricter data protection standards, substantial fines, and most of all, extensive reach. The GDPR affects any organization that holds an EU citizen’s personal data, no matter the size or location. A company based in Asia is as accountable as a multinational enterprise with offices across Europe – as long as it collects and processes the data of EU citizens.

Image Source – GDPR

The regulation also delineated the data protection obligations of affected organizations – from adopting state-of-the-art security methods to providing people more access to and control of their data. Recognizing the sweeping changes required for compliance, the EU authorities granted member states and organizations two years to get ready and prepare. And today, the transition stage is over – the GDPR will now be enforced.

What happens now ?

Enforcement means that organizations should already be processing personal data in accordance with the GDPR – including provisions for data subject rights. Data Protection Authorities [DPAs] of EU member states will also already be able to penalize organizations that are not compliant. Depending on the member state, it is possible that regulators will immediately take action to address any noncompliance. Some regulatory bodies, however, plan on being more lenient with businesses and organizations that have started but not yet completed their compliance efforts.

What is the worst-case scenario? An organization is liable for damages caused by noncompliance and is subject to corresponding administrative fines. The heftiest fine is 20,000,000 euros or up to 4 percent of annual turnover, whichever is higher.

What is the best-case scenario? If an organization is fully compliant with the GDPR, or uses the regulation as a starting-off point and goes beyond the minimum standards, then there are significant advantages. Some benefits would be – secured valuable information, more efficient operations with proper archiving and data management, and increased trust from customers and users.

While the GDPR applies to personal data of EU citizens, the GDPR has sparked a change in privacy regulations across the world. The 2018 enforcement allowed several countries to make their own legislative improvements – the U.K. and Australia are just two of a number of regions that have also updated their data protection laws. This only indicates that GDPR compliance is a good opportunity – not just for multinational enterprises but smaller organizations as well – to keep up with global advances in data privacy and state-of-the-art security.

What should organizations be doing ?

Ideally, all the groundwork for compliance should have been finished by now, and items on the compliance checklist should have been ticked. Organizations should already be able to provide products or services that address their customers’ rights as outlined in the GDPR. Those using third-party applications or suppliers should watch for updates concerning issues like the ‘right to be forgotten’ and stricter user consent standards and make sure they are working properly. Several laws as well as software changes are also expected to be in effect starting today or in the coming months, and organizations should be ready for any necessary changes.

For those not yet fully compliant, some member state DPAs have reassured companies ‘acting in good faith’ or on the way to compliance that they will initially be treated with consideration. It’s crucial to document steps being taken as well as to prioritize addressing potential security risks.

Ready or not, the road to GDPR compliance does not end on enforcement day – assessments and audits should be regular moving forward.

Building better data protection

The GDPR was enforced to set a new standard for data privacy and protection. One key element to this is building in privacy measures from the first stages of development – not patching up problems after they occur. As organizations create new products and applications post-implementation day, privacy by design must be kept in mind.

Through its new rules and standards, the GDPR encourages organizations to rethink existing data management policies and invest in state-of-the-art security for data protection. To reiterate, compliance efforts should be constant after GDPR implementation day; staying up to date with cybersecurity developments plays a major part.

We created an infographic to demonstrate the path well-protected personal data takes – leaving the data subject’s hands and on to an organization for secure processing. It also shows what happens if something goes wrong and what happens if everything goes right.

The Journey of Safe and Secure Personal Data Charting GDPR Compliance

About the Author

Nilesh Jain is the Vice President, South East Asia and India at Trend Micro. For more information, you can visit his profile here.

Mankind’s quest for Artificial Intelligence [AI] has driven development from times immemorial. It dates back to the architectural astronomy instruments in India to Abacus of Mesopotamia; from mechanical triggering of medieval cannons in China to the emergence of the big World Wide Web; and finally to the 21st century when Internet of Things [IoT], Blockchain, Robotics and AI are finally a reality. It’s a marvel to construe that machines of today can actually learn, improve over a period of time with an in-built self learning capability.

Image Source – AI in Banking

AI not only refers to a specific software algorithm but a broad spectrum of capabilities of machines that have cognitive functions, which include speech recognition, machine translation, file reading from a machine, fraud detection prediction, learning and predicting trends and natural language processing.  A recent report suggests that globally over $1 trillion of today’s financial services cost structure could be replaced by machine learning and AI.

Financial institutions worldwide have always been at the forefront of adopting new technology. Closer home, in India, recent reports published by Accenture suggest that around 83% of Indian bankers believe that AI will work alongside humans in the next two years, which is higher than the global average of 79%. 

Lets delve deeper into how AI in set to transform Banking and Insurance of the future. Focus on the how AI would be integrated into BFSI, the many benefits and use-cases to substantiate how the ecosystem would evolve. 

Customer Service Chatbots

Smart virtual agents or chatbots elevate the customer experience to a new level by providing real time round the clock service with natural language to perform day to day transaction. They anticipate customers unique transaction needs and recommend the right insurance policy or right portfolio for investment in fraction of a second, with quick ability to deep dive into the data models. This gives customer personalized services experience and increased customer satisfaction.

Customer & Business Audio Bots

A case in point, is a customer greeted by EVA from Emirates NBD [leading bank in UAE], a audio bot. This is a new face of banking where audio bots are taking over in a quick and efficient way to provide information. Bots can run query much faster and provide results to the customer objectively, without any  emotions attached to it.

There is a growing demand for audio bots within businesses. In a typical scenario, a CEO can be remotely assisted by an audio bot to provide him sales performance data of a branch or a zone, provide instant details about top performers, top claims paid or on business forecast for the year.

Virtual assistants can manage the low-value activities of advisors, such as lead management, scheduling, planning, licensing, etc., enabling them to focus on building skills and providing value-added services.

Companies have transformed from conventional password and I-pin methods to voice recognition with the help of voice prints to automate the process. Face recognition to ascertain account credentials are becoming a norm.

Customer Insights and Risk Management

Risk management is one of the largest opportunity for leveraging the full potential of AI. Using AI in Banking it is possible to sieve through different data sources such as credit scores, financial data, spending patterns help to determine risk scores of a customer, based on his or her nationality, occupation, salary range, experience, industry and credit history. Moreover, AI can be used to reduce the strain of regulatory compliance and to overhaul the way banks/insurers detect financial crimes and frauds.

Similarly in Insurance, risk scores can be very helpful in underwriting policy and adjudicating claims for a individual on basis of various parameters. It could be based on data models during the on-boarding of a customer, agent or a claim risk propensity can be calculated and early warning signals can be triggered.

AI systems can be used to perform research, aggregate, refine and present required information to underwriters, allowing them to focus on core underwriting activities.

In summary, the benefits of AI

Enhance operational efficiency, improve time-to-market, enable a more intelligent way to sell and service, and more. During the last five years, industrial use of AI – in terms of interest, investment, ideation and implementation – has risen exponentially.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. This can be validated through how a leading health insurance startup leveraged AI by using data and software to build clinical profiles of people to identify gaps in care. These gaps in care were filled with visits and free choice of doctors for patients to avoid costly hospital stays.

Similarly, a life insurance startup used AI to generate quotes for accident death claims which simplified sign-up in less than 2 minutes. There are several such instances that fortify AI as a technology that would revolutionize businesses and the world at large.

About the author

Snehal Desai is the Global Sales Head – Insurance at 3i Infotech Ltd. More details about him can be found here

Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into company’s product or service and it describes the marketing process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing sales pipeline. Prospects can come in the form of names and addresses, names and phone numbers, email addresses and fax numbers.

Why Lead Generation is Important ?

Lead generation is the fundamental way to provide channels of revenue into any company. In order to effectively make sales, you have to have qualified leads and it is incredibly important in keeping your sales and marketing pipeline alive. Lead generation is a win-win for both the buyer and seller.

Following are the 7 Essential Steps that marketers can use to Improve B2B Lead Generation.

Developing Better Marketing Content – Every content marketing strategy starts with the goal. How are you going to measure the success of your campaign? Is it with traffic? New subscribers? Social shares & engagement? Sales? Your content should be integrated in such a way that it helps you achieve your organizational goals. A content marketing strategy is a road-map that not only tells you what you are going to create, distribute it, and ultimately how to use it to attract and convert readers into buyers.

Greater Personalization – Marketing is all about delivering valuable information about a product or service at the right place and the right time. Personalized marketing is a strategy of its own that you can integrate into your different types of marketing mediums to generate better results. The main benefit of personalized marketing is the ability it gives you to reach specific audiences or prospects.

Personalization depends on

  • Demographics – Age, gender, location, career and more. This also includes their problems, needs, and wants.
  • Behaviors – Data includes the type of content they digest, where they spend their time, how they shop, what kind of information they are looking for.
  • Sources – Defines how your leads find you, or how you are generating and acquiring new customers. Is it campaigns you run? Referral programs? Social activity?

Create irresistible lead magnets – A lead magnet is a tool that you use to incentivize potential leads to interact with your brand. In other words, you’re trading the valuable piece of content for something you want, like the user’s email address. The best lead magnets offer value far and beyond what you might post on your blog. Ideally, they’re immediately useful for your target audience. Whatever you choose, make sure you can pinpoint its value during the lead-generation process.

Some of the most effective lead magnets include the following

  • E-books
  • In-depth case studies
  • Tools and calculators
  • Free demos for your app
  • Free trials for your software
  • Report or white paper

Link your Call To Action [CTA] to a dedicated landing page – The call to action is a core component of B2B lead generation. Call to Actions may have changed over the years, but the goal hasn’t changed: Put the right message in front of the right people at the right time.If you focus on your email newsletter to educate customers, including the call to action is a great opportunity to present them with relevant offers to generate leads and Website visits. Linking your call to action to the exact landing page will improve your customer engagement and number of leads.

Creating word-of-mouth referrals – Word of mouth marketing is not just about creating a message it’s about delivering real human experiences to the masses. Word-of-mouth marketing isn’t easy, but with a little tactical planning, any business can create a real buzz in their local community. According marketing survey 92% of prospects trust referrals from people they know or their relatives, and 80% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family.

Be Active on Social Media for lead generation – With recent updates, many social media platforms are becoming more important than ever.  Creating great content directly to your followers is one of the easiest ways to gather detailed information about prospects using social media. Social media is great for not only spreading brand awareness but also converting followers into leads. Believe it or not, the tools you already use to establish and promote your brand can become B2B lead-generating machines.

However, don’t discount other social platforms, including the following:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

Chat with your users with live chat – Going live is a great way to directly interact with your prospects or customers and engage with them in real-time. By answering questions and generating awareness about your products or services, live chats give you the opportunity to position your brand as an expert in the industry. You can also drive cross-channel traffic by directing participants to branded content, creating promotional images or banners, landing pages, and offerings.

Final Thoughts

Lead generation is essential for all businesses that wish to drive higher profits and ROI. It plays a role in every business’s marketing strategy. The lead generation funnel allows brands to reach their best leads, nurture that interest, and capture necessary data before delivering truly qualified leads to sales. Hope these tips will increase the effectiveness of your outreach effort.

About the Author

Michael Anthony works as a Content Marketer for USAExeList, a high-end B2B Email Lists provider based in Addison, Texas. He has been promoting high-quality content in select niches for his clients.

As India gears up to prepare for the next leap in GST compliance – the e-Way Bill, it is time to find out how technology can simplify e-Way Bills for your business. The obvious question on your mind is, ‘Will e-Way bill impact my business?’

Image Source – Eway Bill

The answer is yes, by and large e-Way Bill will impact your business. Whether you run a big or a small business, are registered or not registered, e-Way Bill will be applicable to you in one way or the other. Since e-Way Bill is a GST compliance mechanism, you must become familiar with it.

What is an E-Way Bill?

E-way Bill stands for Electronic Way Bill. An E-Way Bill is generated by the person causing movement of goods in the e-Way Bill portal. It has to be generated for transporting goods worth more than INR 50,000 by any mode of transport.

The e-Way Bill is usually a unique bill number generated for the specific consignment. Any registered business, transporting goods in their own vehicle, hired vehicle, railways, by air or by vessel, the supplier or recipient of the goods should generate E-way bill.

Let the right technology manage e-Way Bills for you

Avoid repetitive activity

The details that are required to record a transaction and generate invoice are required for generating the corresponding e-Way Bill as well. Why would you want to spend time to re-enter all the details again in the e-Way portal? The software you use should help avoid this repetitive activity.

Flexibility

You must be able to record transactions in your software, and export the details together for the purpose of generating e-Way Bills in the portal. This must be possible the other way round as well, i.e., in situations where you have recorded transactions in the portal first to generate e-Way Bills.

Do you have to re-enter the details again in your software to record the transaction? No. The right software will let you switch between systems. From portal to your software, and vice versa.

It is not always possible to generate an e-Way Bill as soon as you have recorded a transaction. You might be supplying goods a few days later. Sometimes, your transporter might not be ready with the vehicle. You need flexibility to generate e-Way Bills any time. Ideally, you must be able to generate e-Way Bills while recording a transaction, or after recording the transaction. You must be able to generate e-Way Bill for a single invoice, or for multiple invoices together.

Ensure compliance

Depending on the nature of your business, you might be recording transactions for transporting goods frequently. How will you keep track of transactions of value more than Rs. 50,000 for which it is mandatory to generate e-Way Bills? Let your software do that for you. Imagine cases, where there are hundreds of transactions recorded.

Print invoices with e-Way Bill Nos.

In a fast-paced business environment, where you are paying money to transporters for moving your goods, time is valuable. Your software must let you print e-Way Bill Nos. on invoices in a short span of time. You can handover the prints to your transporter who needs to carry the documents while transporting goods for compliance purpose.

Manage exceptional cases

What if the vehicle in which your goods are being transported breaks down. You must be able to track the particular invoice quickly and easily in your software, and generate a fresh e-Way for the same from the portal.

Business situations can be unpredictable too. If your supplier is unable to generate an e-Way Bill, you must be able to do quickly. If you make purchases from unregistered dealers, you should be able to generate e-Way Bills on their behalf in your software.

Generate and print consolidated invoices

The commercial tax department allows invoices to be grouped based on mode of transport, vehicle nos., place of supply or State and generate a consolidated e-Way Bill to make life easy for the transporters.

Your software must firstly let you generate individual e-Way Bills for each invoice. It must let you group these invoices as per your preference and then generate a consolidated JSON file of the same which could be uploaded in the portal. The e-Way Bill portal will then generate a single e-Way Bill for the consolidated invoices.

About the Author

This article has been authored by Tejas Goenka, Executive Director, Tally Solutions

The evolution of digital technologies such as Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud [SMAC] is having a significant impact on IT within enterprises. By 2020, a staggering 20+ billion connected devices will be in place, which would be about three times the size of the current world’s population, enabling us to crave for a perfect synchronization with just about everything around us. You will need to decide if you are one of the early adopters of technologies that will drive your business just ahead of your competition, working with the newest and most advanced solutions and leaving your competition to play the catch-up game.

Image Source – Digital Transformation

Transformation today begins with digital Infrastructure and data is the key theme within the orchestration layers of digital infrastructure. Enterprises have been accumulating data and literally have not even come close to exercising the real worth of it. Empowering business with actionable information can fundamentally change the way business can operate and transform. Here is where automating managed services operations will accelerate digital transformation journey within an enterprise.

So what are the areas one can possibly apply intelligent automation within the IT operations framework? Let’s look into the top three areas where automation is already underway.

Automating Service Desk Operations – We need to re-look at how enterprises engage service desk for end-user support. With digital transformation accelerating at very high speed, information technologies are changing rapidly in the way businesses are getting done today. With rapidly changing technologies there are high turnover of services desk engineers that leads to lack of knowledge and experience.

This leads to high risks and low quality of services. Besides providing a 24×7 support takes a toll with the costs going north. Enterprises can look into building AI/RPA into their service desk support operations. In fact, with roughly 30-40% of Level 0/1 services desk support cases being repetitive, you can leverage the power of Natural Language Interpretation [NLI] and cognitive automation in the form of AI bots. AI powered RPA and cognitive automation are quickly becoming the main driving force for digital transformation today. Traditional service desk and being transformed to Digital Service Desk providing end users the flexibility to talk to someone anytime from anywhere with 50~70% reduction of costs to handle each incident.

Automating IT Operations Management – Modern enterprises that are adopting Hybrid-IT will need a solution that will allow them to discover everything they have in real-time. Auto-discovery of IT assets and complete visibility of all your IT resources, no matter where they are will also require automation in management of incidents.

Automation in streamlining the process of creating and managing incidents, as well as notifying the right teams with correlation between the resources in real-time basis, it becomes even more important on how you handle the false positives from here on. Escalation and alert on critical events to ensure rapid problem resolution and consistent service performance will lead to meaningful insights to providing the actionable information to the CIO organization to better manage the business of IT today.

Integration of RPA/AI in IT Operations Management – The network operations center or the digital command center [as I would like to put it in today’s scenario] is the focal point for a 24×7 IT Infrastructure /Application and Data Monitoring and Management. With everything-as-a-service, connectivity becomes the principle driver for any digital journey. Ensuring health of these connected devices to ensure 24×7 availability is the key element for a greater customer experience [CX].

Enterprise will need to plan to bring in RPA that will perform health check [including security checks] of systems & applications and take corrective remedial actions to ensure the environment performs giving the experience that is needed. Automation on service requests post work-flow approvals coming out of IT service management needs to be automated.

Robotic process automation [RPA] is the important step in the evolution of new business models since it significantly reduces the need for IT service agents to perform routine, rule based, high volume activities, enabling them to instead focus on more innovative ideas.

Thinkers, enthusiasts, market researchers and many others place 2020 and 2025 as an important milestone in the coming years. Is this because of ‘conversational‘ banking, ‘self-driving‘ vehicles, and ‘drones‘ to deliver packages? You are talking to ‘robo-advisors’ on market trends and investments, ‘cognitive‘ coach on your phone designing your next day diet based on your previous days workouts and the list keeps adding up. To make all this a reality, enterprises that develop or adopt such innovation must have their IT Services automated to handle the kind of demand in implementing Hybrid IT in their journey of digital transformation.

About the author

Nilesh Gupta is the VP & Global Head – Digital Infrastructure Management Solutions & Strategy, at 3i Infotech Ltd. More details about him can be found here

The most popular questions in the technology world today is most definitely the one on whether Hashgraph is better than Blockchain. The life and credibility of the Blockchain is being questioned and Hashgraph is being predicted as the technology of the future.

Image Source – DLT

While it is difficult to predict whether Blockchain is a thing of the past and whether Hashgraph is the final answer, one thing is sure, Hashgraph definitely addresses a lot of the critical challenges that Blockchain has been grappling with, the challenge of speed of processing, the challenge of fairness, and the huge challenge of requiring multiple industry regulators to come together

Hashgraph can process 250000+ transactions per second as opposed to Blockchain’s 7 transactions per second.  Hashgraph is fast because it uses Gossip protocol to spread messages to the network and also performs some optimization of the gossiped messages to reduce the communication overhead.  One other reason behind this speed of Hashgraph is because Hashgraph today uses private, permissioned networks.

Coming to fairness, the main challenge of Blockchain is its dependence on miners.  There could be forking and delay because of the actions of the miners, who can manipulate the process.  Since Hashgraph is based on consensus and time stamping, it’s faster and more accurate.  The Virtual Voting Consensus Algorithm of Hashgraph, which was invented by Dr. Leemon Baird, makes it straightforward to know how a node would vote and this data can be used as an input to the voting algorithm and to find whichever transactions have reached consensus quickly, thus making it more fair.

According to me, one of the biggest challenge for Blockchain to be a commonly used technology, is the need for multiple industry regulators to come together and set regulations which will cut across industries. As I have said before also, a Blockchain, or for that matter any DLT is beneficial only when the chains are big or integrated to each other. While it’s not really a technical challenge, given the water tight compartments of today, it’s an enormous roadblock to overcome for a DLT. Hashgraph is planning to overcome or partially address that challenge by way of their 39-member council.  If run properly it will take care of enabling cross-industry discussions and regulations.

Added to this, Hashgraph’s security is also claimed to be better than that of Blockchain.  Hashgraph has been proven to be fully asynchronous Byzantine. This means that it doesn’t make any assumption about how fast messages are passed over the internet and this makes it resilient against DDoS attacks, botnets, and firewalls. While the security in Blockchain was never a challenge, the Byzantine Consensus of Hashgraph makes it stronger.

While Hashgraph does seem to have quite a few advantages over Blockchain, we cannot say that Blockchain is a thing of the past and Hashgraph is the new technology of the future.  I can only predict that Distributed Ledger Technology [DLT] is the way to go, but whether it will be Blockchain or Hashgraph or Tangle or any other DLT, only time can tell.  They are all evolving and evolving very fast.  As Distributed Ledger Technologies move beyond the POC stage to actual implementation stage, we will see even faster evolution.  So it’s very hard to predict which DLT is here to stay because tomorrow is truly another day!

About the author

Mohua Sengupta is the EVP & Global Head at Services at 3i Infotech Ltd. More details about her can be found here