The Strategic Role of Blockchain Partnerships
When a nascent technology starts to take off, people talk about the inventors as “pioneers,” evoking pictures of rough-and-tumble loners going it alone. But when it comes to developing a distributed ledger technology like blockchain, it’s much better to join forces than fend for yourself.
As the enterprise blockchain ecosystem grows, more and more businesses explore the possibilities of blockchain in their industries. At Cisco, we believe in strength in partnerships. Whether a company is developing next generation of supply chain management or explores new and innovative way to tackle growing counterfeit issues, there’s great opportunity in collaboration. (That’s just one reason why we are co-founding members of Trusted IoT Alliance and Hyperledger – both efforts help to promote common reference designs and interoperability).
We’re a strong believer in building partnerships to make the most of the blockchain revolution. So much progress is being made across the ecosystem by individual firms that it makes sense to enlist specialists and work with an array of providers rather than try to find one company that promises to do it all.
We are taking a modular approach to innovation, one that will be more future-proof for our customers and partners and fully harness the possibility of this radical new technology. As companies explore enterprise blockchain solutions, they will need experienced partners in each of these categories:
- Cloud Service Providers: Hybrid deployments will dominate the enterprise blockchain space. Major cloud providers are already offering or about to announce blockchain tools and templates. We expect more blockchain offerings soon as cloud providers are rushing to capture the momentum. The key factors here are ease of use and speed of deployment.
- System Integrators : Integrating with an organization’s legacy systems requires professional expertise. Systems integrators will be essential partners for building enterprise blockchain solutions , and will work closely with app developers as they create new tools .
- Industry Specialists: Each industry has unique hurdles and opportunities when it comes to blockchain. SMEs and industry consultants can focus deeply on the customer requirements, assist with a business case and ROI calculations as well as ensure compliance to industry regulations for each specific customer deployment. Industry specialists will also help guide the development of new industry-specific apps.
Of course, there are other categories of partners, including startups, ISVs and horizontal blockchain technology developers as ecosystem is innovating and growing with an incredible speed! As such, at this early stage of the industry development, it is crucial to take strategic approach that allows an organization to keep harvesting results of this ongoing technology revolution, avoiding the risk of being trapped with monolithic designs and all-in-one offerings.
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