Opinion In the past few years, the
progression of blockchain has been a phased evolution traced through three main
stages: education, prototype, and deployment. On the enterprise front, the
industry has done an admirable job of laying down the groundwork for education
and developing ideas at the prototype level. And yet, moving forward, the time
has come to shift gears, ensuring the industry’s seamless transition to the
next stage of production.
To a large extent, this will be contingent on
companies recognising, prioritising, and redesigning the operational value of
blockchain. As enterprise users look towards a frictionless experience, topics
such as ease of onboarding, intuitive integration with legacy systems, and risk
management from a technological standpoint will soon dominate the corporate
To do so, enterprises need to focus on implementations that do not merely disrupt for the sake of disruption, but instead present meaningful value-add to existing business processes. Starting small and iterating often should be the driver of successful change. It is important to introduce these implementations across organizational areas that offer the least risk in terms of change management, as well as ongoing day-to-day business operations.
In turn, both blockchain services and technological providers will lean on the increasing significance of things such as UX, security, and onboarding processes — areas which have up till now hindered enterprises from joining the blockchain space. Given the rapid mobilisation of blockchain to the boardroom, it seems only fitting that other aspects of the blockchain are now catching up to the technological advancement we have seen so far.
For enterprises who are eager to have their own piece of the blockchain pie, normative industry practices point to three methods: buy, borrow, or build.
“Enterprises need to recognise, prioritise and redesign the operational value of blockchain – yet they have to be equipped with a necessary sense of urgency”
Powerhouses such as Facebook have led the way in
showing how companies can quickly amass and build up their blockchain
credentials, as with the social media giant’s much publicised acqui-hire of
Chainspace, a scalable smart contracts platform. Such moves explore how
companies residing outside of the blockchain space can hope to gain a foothold
in a rapidly crowding environment.
Other companies who look to bolster their ambitions in
a more collaborative way often rely on blockchain hubs or platforms such as R3
Corda and Hyperledger. These notable examples borrow from open-source
blockchain architecture to meet the native needs of enterprises in an efficient
and compatible manner.
Last but not least, many companies have also begun
channeling their energies inwards, building out their own in-house blockchain
capabilities. In the short term, this allows for companies to easily separate
the noise from the value; in the long term, this gestures to the speed and ease
of scale for enterprise deployment. Indeed, with the plethora of options
available, the challenges when it comes to enterprise adoption might be more
imagined than real.
As a result, in 2020, blockchain can no longer afford
to sell a dream. By returning to the fundamentals, the onus lies on the
industry to move beyond proof, deliver on fuss-free, concrete value for
enterprise clients, and to map their growth trajectory from here onwards. In
the scramble not to be left behind, enterprises have to be equipped with a
necessary sense of urgency, as it is often the case with nascent technologies
that the first mover advantage is a critical one.
Even if the learning journey for blockchain is a continuous one, the way ahead is certain to be shaped by the strength of the team, the calibre of the technology, and the technical agility of enterprises—leaving the theory behind once and for all.
About the author: Yonathan Lapchik, CEO of SUKU, is a blockchain specialist with a strong business and technology background. He brings more than 12 years of experience helping Fortune 500 clients with digital transformations, M&A, tech strategy, and product implementation working for TATA Consultancy Services and Deloitte. Before joining Citizens Reserve, Yonathan held the role of Product Lead for Deloitte’s US Blockchain Lab, focusing on leading the development of blockchain-based prototypes and enterprise solutions.
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Credit: Blockchain News