Blockchain Design and Development Trends — In-House or Outside Experts?
Based on budgeting plans revealed in our survey that asked 103 organizations about their efforts to utilize blockchain technology, 2018 could prove a breakout year for organizations getting their blockchain initiatives underway.
A key question I’m hearing from respondents is: how are organizations implementing or planning to implement their blockchain applications? Are they relying or planning to rely on in-house talent, or seek outside specialists to assist with their efforts? The latest findings from our survey help shed some light on these questions.
As shown in Figure 1, the current trend is for organizations to utilize outside specialists to assist with their blockchain application design and implementation efforts as opposed to relying mainly on in-house development teams. I don’t really see any reasons for this trend to change much in the foreseeable future. And I think that use of outside blockchain consultancies will increase to satisfy current and future enterprise demands for blockchain adoption.
Many of the blockchain implementations organizations are currently building are prototypes and proof-of-concept applications intended for experimenting with the technology. But as organizations eventually seek to build applications intended for actual production environments, they are going to encounter issues with applying the technology within their particular industries. Regulatory, compliance, and auditing are also major concerns. And, of course, there is the problem of securing blockchain applications — especially the points where they integrate with ERP, supply chain, financial, and other enterprise systems. These issues will help to generate a lot of work for blockchain consultancies. Findings from the “Other” category shown in Figure 1 tend to help support me on this, with most of the organizations responding with “other” to our survey question indicating that although their blockchain efforts initially started in-house, they expect to turn to outside specialists at some point.
Additionally, we can expect to see many blockchain applications being built and designed to support new, complex business models. This will also require outside specialists. For example, EY Global Technology Consulting is developing a blockchain platform designed to support how future autonomous vehicle fleets will be owned and operated — including to facilitate fractional vehicle ownership, on-demand access, and shared usage, as well as multiple stakeholders like OEMs, mobility, and transport companies, cities and infrastructure providers, and customers with differing mobility needs.
But not everyone is currently sold on the urgency to put blockchain to work. Again, referring to Figure 1, it’s easy to say that the most pronounced finding from our survey is that more than half of organizations surveyed indicated that they were unsure at the time as to which strategy they will take when it comes to designing and implementing blockchain applications. This is obviously an indicator of just how far off the map blockchain technology currently is for many organizations. That said, however, I’d be surprised not to see such uncertainty decrease considerably over the next 12-18 months as more organizations increasingly adopt the technology, thereby forcing holdouts to get their blockchain efforts together.
Finally, I’d like to get your opinion on designing and building blockchain applications. In particular, when do you think the technology will begin to experience wider adoption and where do you see the opportunities and issues? You can comment at the link below, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call +1 510 356 7299 with your comments. Also, if you have not done so already, I urge you to please take our survey on blockchain.