2009 – the year when the world heard about Blockchain for the first time. Many technology leaders immediately saw the potential of the blockchain enhancing Identity Management, Security, Tracking and Monitoring capabilities, Data storage and sharing, and providing use case solutions for issues that majority of enterprises around the world have been struggling with for the last 30+ years!
It was an amazing time with high hopes for the upcoming future.
Fast forward to the current day – we hear a lot of buzz about “Blockchain Potential”. Numerous articles and whitepapers have been written on how Blockchain could be used. The world is flooded with blockchain conferences happening worldwide almost every week. So, what about blockchain are people discussing in these white papers, articles, and conferences? Probably more than 90% of all discussions are about cryptocurrency (Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency Exchanges, Mining activities and technologies, Cryptocurrency Wallets, etc.)
Yes, we’ve also heard a lot of buzz (and even seen some announcements) about potential Blockchain use cases around supply chain optimization, tokenization, inter-org communication, etc. However, in most situations these use cases remain in the test mode, as proof of concepts or just an idea on a paper, never seeing the light of day in production operations.
Unfortunately, we find that almost no one talks about how blockchain, when appropriately applied to the science and discipline of cybersecurity, can solve problems with duplicate identities, or how enterprises can easily migrate their current systems to the blockchain in a secure and programmatic fashion. To compound this problem, we see even less discussions surrounding platform integrations. These glaring gaps manifest themselves in a limited number of real-life examples of Enterprise Blockchain implementations running in production, outside of cryptocurrency and financial/ledger-related activities. (Please don’t talk about Walmart and Starbucks).
So let’s try to understand how this happened? Why are the majority of enterprises, despite Gartner touting blockchain as one of the most important disruptive technological advancements of our time, still ignoring blockchain and not even thinking about bringing it to their eco-systems?
During my presentations and while being a panelist at a multitude of Blockchain conferences over the years, where I speak about how Blockchain solves common Enterprise problems, I have observed the same pattern over and over again… People don’t understand how to bring Blockchain to the business and more importantly, to the Enterprise!
First of all, I firmly believe that the new era will start the moment the world stop associating blockchain with “Bitcoin”! It’s also crucial to understand that neither experts in Blockchain nor IT experts will be able to make Blockchain adoption successful working by themselves. The approach should be combined, and Blockchain experts will need to work with IT and Business experts, together!
Right now, we see that the history repeats itself! The world behaves the same way it did in the early to mid 90s. I still remember statements made by major organizations: “Why do I need the Internet?”, “The Internet is used only by hackers!”, “If I connect to the internet, I will be hacked and infected by viruses.” At that time, people didn’t understand the value of the Internet and were afraid to “bring it home” to their businesses. Today’s corporations and enterprises are having the exact same doubts and fears about Blockchain that many of these same organizations had about the Internet only a mere 25 years ago. The only difference are the words themselves.
The second big roadblock is a lack of clear understanding about the concepts of how to integrate existing eco-systems and the blockchain. There is a belief that any enterprise that would switch to the blockchain overnight would be delusional. Even “simple” projects, already well known and defined, such as migrations of corporate workloads to the cloud, take months, sometimes years! Those big enterprises never even entertained cloud migration projects without first knowing how they would live in a coexistence scenario, where their business can operate and consume local infrastructure and cloud services in harmony.
We hear a lot of buzzing about Digital Identity and Cybersecurity. However, those people are often unable to answer even a simple question about Identity Management used nowadays by many enterprises. Once, during a well-known industry conference, when I was asking a presenter to explain how his blockchain solution will integrate with one of the most popular corporate Identity Management solutions on the market, he chose to defer my question to after the session and then proceeded to explain offline that he was unfamiliar with the typical Identity Management solutions but was sure his blockchain solution could “help”. It is hard to believe that a gamer, who gets “involved” in blockchain by doing mining on his video card, can suddenly bring a cybersecurity solution to companies like Equifax, CRA, IRS and bulge bracket banks, but we are unfortunately seeing this kind of behavior in the blockchain vendor marketplace on a regular basis from individuals without the proper credentials and experience in delivering quality products and support for Enterprise firms and use cases.
To solve the problem, I do not think you have to go too far. The answer, as I see it, is really on the surface! To successfully integrate and deliver the power and benefits of Blockchain to any organization, a combined team of industry experts is needed. Experts who know how to solve Identity Problems, experts who know how to deal with cybersecurity challenges, experts who know how to do an integration with multiple platforms. Experts who have dealt with these problems for decades and have the proven track record of delivery. In collaboration with experts that know and understand AI, ML and Blockchain this team will be able to take any corporate data format or workload to these new, cutting-edge technologies, and of course, first ensuring that it makes real business sense to organization at hand! Experts, who know how to integrate different platforms and disparate systems, where each platform has its own source of identities, its own source of truth, all while bringing the value of blockchain to the forefront and building a coexistence scenario, allowing enterprises to painlessly adopt and reap the rewards of the blockchain. These same cybersecurity experts, who for many years relentlessly fought hackers, who helped enterprises identify, classify and protect the corporate assets, these experts know the value of blockchain technology and they will be able to guarantee the smooth integration and adoption of the technology.
Yes, we 100% believe that the blockchain will usher in a new era of technology to the world. We do think that the invention of the blockchain is bigger than the Internet. The real potential and benefit of the blockchain are not even discovered yet!
However, it’s important to realize, that migration and full adoption of blockchain is going to take time, a lot of time. To gain a measurable business advantage against your competition, a S.W.A.T. team of experts in “legacy” and modern technologies is needed to make a Blockchain adoption successful!
Let’s bring the Blockchain to The World, Together!
Please stay in touch if you share the same vision!