Accenture PLC ACN is teaming up with Microsoft Corporation MSFT to create digital ID databases for more than 1.1 billion people globally, by using the blockchain technology.
This event took place at the second summit of ID2020 at the United Nations. ID2020 is a public-private partnership devoted to resolve the challenges of providing digital identity for people all over the world.
The main objective behind the collaboration is to create a type of database system which will enable multiple parties to access the same data with a high level of confidentiality and security. We note that Microsoft's very own cloud-based platform Azure will be utilized to deploy this large scale blockchain and biometric technology. What is Blockchain?
Simply put, a blockchain is a chain of blocks, where each block represents an electronic record that cannot be revised or tampered with once it is included in the chain. Each block has its own timestamp and a link to an earlier block in the chain, which enables all the parties to have easy access to information via a secure network. Benefits
About one-sixth of the world's population is excluded from contributing in cultural, political, economic and social life as it's harder for them to prove their identities through proper documents.
That's why this new software tool, revealed at the United Nations, is a major deal. It will help millions of refugees and other people worldwide to present their IDs via an app on their smartphones to immediately prove their identity and location.
David Treat, one of the managing directors in Accenture's global blockchain business, stated, "People without a documented identity suffer by being excluded from modern society." Further he added, "Our prototype is personal, private and portable, empowering individuals to access and share appropriate information when convenient and without the worry of using or losing paper documentation."
Per MarketsandMarkets, the blockchain market size is estimated to grow from $210.2 million in 2016 to $2,312.5 million by 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 61.5%. In the report, 2015 is considered the base year, while the forecast period is 2016-2021. We believe that Accenture is well positioned to tap this opportunity. To Conclude
The stock has outperformed the Zacks categorized Consulting
industry in the year-to-date period. The industry gained 7.5%, while the stock returned 9.1% during the aforementioned period.
We are encouraged by Accenture's strategy of growing through acquisitions. These buyouts have enabled the company to foray into newer markets, diversify and broaden its product portfolio and maintain a leading position. We believe that regular acquisitions will significantly contribute to the company's revenues.
However, Accenture's announcement of creating 15,000 jobs by 2020 and investment plan of $1.4 billion for employee training and opening of 10 innovation centers across the U.S. may dent its bottom line, in our opinion. Furthermore, increasing competition from Cognizant Technology Solutions CTSH and International Business Machines Corporation IBM , along with an uncertain macroeconomic environment may deter its growth to some extent.
Currently, Accenture carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .
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