One of the most immediate applications of blockchain for smart contracts may be in retail enterprises.
Think of all the products that retailers need their suppliers to send them in order to keep their shelves stocked. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for shipments to go awry.
A supplier might manage to send products to some of the retailer's store locations, for instance, but a few could get missed. This may lead to vendor disputes that can be difficult to resolve.
By deploying IoT sensors on the items being shipped, retailers can use blockchain smart contracts to gain visibility into their supply chain and confirm which products arrived, which locations received them and when.
Meanwhile, in the food sector, keeping items frozen and fresh is vital for public health. Blockchain smart contracts can be used here to help manage the quality of food, which can be assessed based on data collected via IoT sensors that monitor it.
Similarly, the IoT can help to bring transparency into the transpiration of pharmaceuticals—for example, confirming the temperature, if drugs need to remain frozen. The terms of the smart contracts will only be met if the medications have been shipped properly, and the technology can offer greater accuracy than when human beings are tasked with the same work.
As more blockchain smart contract pilot projects get under way, other industries may identify similar opportunities. If you haven't talked to a managed service provider about how to harness the power of the IoT with blockchain and provide greater value across the enterprise, the time is now.