The Next Wave of B2B Data Sharing is Here

Why should you care about B2B data sharing?

We have seen strong ROIs from data driven initiatives over the past few decades, but so far, these returns have come from tapping into data assets within organizational boundaries. The new frontier is to demonstrate strong ROIs from sharing data assets beyond organizational boundaries a.k.a B2B data sharing.

Real world business pains are drawing attention to the issue:

  • Turbulence in supply chains, due to risk factors, such as, Covid-19 pandemic has seriously affected consumers and businesses. The barriers to adopting preventive solutions have been lack of transparency and peer-to-peer collaboration, often due to lack of data sharing.
  • Widespread automotive recalls are not only a danger to public safety, but also result in massive financial blows to the auto manufacturers and their suppliers. The recall scenarios do not end with just the automotive industry, they bleed into many sectors.

The need for B2B data sharing, especially in real-time, is not just driven by business disruptions and financial pain, it is now being called out as table stakes, applicable across a spectrum of industry verticals, that hold the promise of:

  • Establishing partnerships and workflows between companies
  • Reimagining business models, generating new revenue streams
  • Consistently meeting regulatory compliance in multi-party workflows

What’s holding back B2B data sharing?

The holdbacks to realizing the full potential of B2B data sharing has really been a case of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt:

  • Fear: Privacy breaches of trade secrets, misappropriation, liability
  • Uncertainty: Usage/sharing rights, regulatory rules, reputational costs
  • Doubt: High burden/skills needed to employ new technology solutions

The picture gets even more complex as multiple parties are drawn in, forming a growing network of peer-to-peer participants. As the economic price of not effectively employing B2B data sharing keeps climbing by the day, businesses are finally coming around to employing new technology solutions.

What solutions are being explored?

Solutions, thus far, have been a mixed bag: signing business partnerships (e.g. joint ventures), enforcing regulatory standards, or by simply opening up data assets to trusted partners.

From a technology standpoint, several solution categories are at play:

  • Data Integration: Industry specific pre-built vertical integration for highly specific use cases or customized horizontal integration between two or more companies using data integration tools or API services
  • Data Marketplace: Centralized, aggregated data sets hosted by data/cloud providers offered to subscribers or federated, subscribers offering access to each other's data sets through the data/cloud provider’s platform
  • Point-to-Point: HTTP and file based direct data exchange between two organizations
  • Distributed Ledgers: Public or Private (permissioned) blockchains as decentralized solutions for sharing data across organizational boundaries

Where do we go from here?

B2B data sharing is here to stay and grow. However, the use cases that involve data sharing, especially when they involve real-time, multi-party workflows are of significant interest to businesses. For example, triggering a corrective action based on data sharing between partners e.g. in a supply chain - initiating a repair work order by one partner, in real time, when a faulty part is flagged and traced back/attributed to the originating partner. Similar use cases are becoming commonplace across many industries. Therefore, the case for delivering robust technology solutions has never been greater, but, they need to meet a minimum bar that satisfies the following:

  • Trust - having safeguards that protect the data shared between parties along with full traceability in the chain of custody and with tamper proof measures
  • Easy onboarding - radically simpler, faster customer onboarding that give business users an ability to get started quickly and invite new participants easily with a no-code, no-IT experience
  • As-a-service: Eliminate work, complexities, and costs associated with coordinating between the participating members’ disparate IT teams, cloud providers, or geographic boundaries
  • Peer-to-peer relationships: systems where all parties can not only trust each other, but also participate as peers in reading and writing data that is visible to all parties, in real time, along with guarantees of consistency and availability

We need technology solutions that not just meet the minimum bar described above, but also dispel the Fears, Uncertainties and Doubts that will unlock the full potential of B2B data sharing. Unfortunately, most of the technology solutions described earlier fall short on multiple counts. However, decentralized solutions involving blockchains (distributed ledgers) are looking promising. Even blockchain based solutions need an infusion of fresh thinking to make them suitable for B2B data sharing.

Vendia Share, an innovative solution in the blockchain category, brings the much needed fresh thinking and has started proving itself in real world use cases. In an upcoming blog, we will dive deeper into the DNA of Vendia share and how it helps tackle multi-party B2B data sharing.

What are you seeing with B2B data sharing? Drop us a note at contact Vendia