If you’re not using emerging technologies like blockchain, your firm faces a competitive disadvantage, according to the latest study by cloud computing giant Oracle. 

The study surveyed 700 finance and operations managers, and executives, who regularly use on-premise and cloud-based services for enterprise planning, performance management, and supply chain metrics. 

Oracle’s findings point to emerging tech, such as blockchain, AI, machine learning, digital assistants, and internet of things (IoT) devices as crucial technologies organizations must adopt to compete in the coming decade. “It's really exciting to see that these technologies have become mainstream: 84% of organizations are using at least one of these,” Emma Hitzke, Senior Product Marketing Director at Oracle, told Decrypt

Companies that have adopted these technologies “have grown their annual net profit 80% faster than organizations not investing,” Oracle’s study said.

Oracle specifically points to the adoption of the booming Software as a Service (SaaS) product market as a key advantage. “These companies want to find the easy way to get to emerging technologies,” so most prefer to purchase pre-built solutions rather than build their own, Hitzke said.

The market has taken notice, as SaaS and cloud stocks reached all-time highs last year. Yet many organizations continue to underestimate these technologies, according to Oracle. The cloud computing company says this could be a costly mistake and these firms run the “risk of falling behind the competition.” 

The value proposition of adopting blockchain

Blockchain applications are especially useful for deterring fraud through monitorable and immutable ledgers. “That’s the beauty of blockchain: not only can you trace where each transaction happens, who was a part of the transaction, it's secure—you cannot change it,” Hitzke said. 

Oracle shows how one food company, Certified Origin, uses blockchain to verify the origin and quality of olive oil, a market rampant with fraud. 

In finance, the study points to how the Arab Jordan Investment Bank uses blockchain to “expedite cross-border money transfers” and “reduce the cost” of payments. 

The study said 83% of organizations that use blockchain “expect significant value from blockchain utilization within one year.” And in terms of actual returns on investments in blockchain tech, “87% of companies using blockchain not only have achieved, but they have also exceeded ROI expectations,” said Hitzke.