In India, Blockchain technology has seen its biggest adopter in the BFSI sector till date, but tech giant IBM a leading enterprise Blockchain provider has been diligently working on making Blockchain affordable to more businesses across verticals. This is with a viable approach thus mainstreaming technology and increasing its adoption among sectors holistically.
According to a McKinsey report, IBM has invested heavily in Blockchain and sees strategic futuristic value in applying it across major industries. As a reskilling partners we felt the need to candidly discuss about scaling Blockchain adoption in India thus creating Blockchain-enabled services, its application areas and thus generate opportunities as there has been a huge influx of queries about this subject from our customers at large.
The Cons First: - One of the biggest disadvantages of Blockchain is that it is regarded as a nascent technology platform and companies are yet to measure its exact return on investment. The technology is also at the beginning of its adoption curve in India and some of the drawbacks include a lack of proven use cases and a lack of talent.
The Pros: - However, that’s the job that IBM is doing by stressing on the untapped micro and macro usage importance of Blockchain across major industry verticals with in-depth analysis and making it “sector agnostic”.
Initially in 2016 and 2017, IBM started off with the financial services market and Blockchain was all about BFSI i.e. Banking, Financial, Services and Insurance. IBM even built a secure Blockchain-based trade finance platform which was developed to support the creation of cross-border trading networks. But now the focus has been on making Blockchain more domain-agnostic and thus apply it in different industries.
a. IBM Trumps Competition with Its All-encompassing Infrastructure – Hyperledger Platform
IBM currently also offers Blockchain-as-a-Service built on top of the Hyperledger Fabric in its IBM Bluemix cloud environment. It is billed as a long-term investment in the strategic imperatives technology which also includes IBM Watson’s Cognitive Computing platform. IBM also started offering multiple deployments outside the financial service sectors in 2017 and has a first-mover advantage being in the field to develop enterprise-ready Blockchain solutions giving the company considerable thought leadership in this area. Outside the BFSI sector, IBM is also betting big on other areas such as Healthcare and retail that can be other big verticals for Blockchain like Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 Alibaba, Belltane, BlocLedger etc
b. IBM Enters Healthcare with a Collaborative Blockchain Network
Earlier in January this year, IBM also announced a joint collaboration with stakeholders to build a Blockchain-based ecosystem for the healthcare industry. In an attempt to expand its use cases, IBM partnered with leading members from the healthcare domain to improve its interoperability and transparency. IBM by this move indicated that the goal is to allow the Blockchain network to enable healthcare companies to build, share and deploy solutions that drive digital transformation in the industry. The idea is to build a collaborative Blockchain based network which can reduce fragmentation and optimize tasks plaguing the sector like claims processing, payment processing etc thereby ensuring smooth healthcare information exchanges.
c. Closing Thoughts
Blockchain is an emerging market across verticals. Many organizations still are in the process of addressing gaps of how to fit Blockchain into their businesses. The biggest challenges we are facing is sparking the conversation around the technology and building awareness that Blockchain is a continuous challenge. I believe that 2019 is the year when we’ll see a lot of reskilling and acceptance initiatives taking off in Block Chain and 2020 onwards will be the year of Blockchain.
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