IBM blockchain automates contract labor processes

IBM has leveraged blockchain to resolve discrepancies in its contingent labor contracts. If its global rollout goes well, the tech could soon be available as an product for invoice reconciliation.

IBM blockchain automates contract labor processes
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Processing payments for thousands of contractors is an onerous task large enterprises grapple with as they hire outsiders for technical and business services. IBM licked this challenge using blockchain software to curb the costs and time it takes to process invoices generated by contingent labor workers.

IBM's Contingent Labor on IBM Blockchain automatically tracks time sheets, purchase orders and other information and secures the appropriate approvals by the approved parties, says Burton Buffaloe, leader of IBM’s global logistics and blockchain efforts.

"One of the biggest pain points of all suppliers of contractors is invoice reconciliation," says Buffaloe, who led the initiative and reports to global CIO Fletcher Previn. "Blockchain lives in the spaces where there is friction and discrepancy."

As a a shared digital ledger for recording transactions, blockchain technology is breathing fresh air into the business sector, where CIOs are intrigued by the technology's potential to scale digital trust across ecosystems of partners and suppliers. Sixty percent of CIOs expect to adopt blockchain technologies in some form over the next three years, Gartner analyst David Furlonger said in September. The researcher estimates blockchain will reach mainstream adoption by 2023, aiding the global movement and tracking of $2 trillion in goods and services annually.

Contract dispute dilemma

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