Nigel Farmer, industry director for Capital Markets at Software AG
Fitting the blockchain piece into an organization’s technology puzzle is going to require both business and technology transformation.
Key to any such transformation is going to be in understanding the current IT architecture and being able to visualise where and how the blockchain piece fits in, as well as what systems are going to be affected. Existing business processes will also need to be understood, enabling effective planning and risk mitigation. Such activities may even uncover existing systems that can be streamlined or other cost savings and efficiencies that can be achieved.
Integration will be crucial. With a myriad of silo and legacy applications there will be many, many ways that systems communicate with each other – and with the blockchain – such as updating contracts or systems when events happen or initiation of business processes.
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APIs will need to be developed and managed in such a way that they provide a level of abstraction and protection from a variety of smart contracts, or new versions of these contracts.
In an ideal world, blockchain will act as a single golden source of truth, but with so much legacy IT in placethe reality is going to be a little different. Reconciliation and matching of data will therefore be important and next generation master data management systems may play a role here
Private, shared blockchains are going to require governance to provide security, access and authentication, with integration to KYC systems essential for meeting regulators’ requirements around on-boarding.
Analytics, monitoring and correlation of events happening within the blockchain and in systems outside the blockchain using streaming analytics will be something that we will see more of in the future.
As we move from looking at big data within the enterprise to exponentially bigger data across enterprises happening on blockchains, streaming analytics technology becomes more urgent.
Fast in-memory access to blockchain data will also be required in many situations in order to meet response times or to react to events in a timely fashion.
Integrating blockchain into the business doesn’t have to, nor should it, take a Big Bang approach. Transformation is not a one-off project; it is continuous evolution inline with changing business strategy and market conditions.
Fitting blockchain into the technology puzzle is crucial. We are still at the early stages of understanding how blockchain will impact banks and their operations, so ideally you want to a single platform that provides agility and enables blockchain transformation ahead of the competition.