Consultant At IBM: We Expect A High Adoption Of Blockchain Within Five Years
An interview with a strategy consultant at IBM Piotr Darwaj who revealed how one of the biggest and oldest IT companies of all times is now adopting decentralized solutions and why every project needs a proper business strategy.
Piotr Darwaj has over 20 years of experience in IT, business and management processes. Currently, he is a consultant for IBM customers and partners on how to make blockchain work for businesses. His advice is based on case studies, which were successfully implemented by IBM.
How can blockchain change traditional business?
We see now that traditional enterprises are actively adopting new technologies. But I'm personally not sure that these technologies are new. I consult people and tell them how to implement these technologies into traditional businesses in order to make some money. These people are in the oldest spheres, starting from finance, which always were in avangard towards any innovation.
What do you personally think of the crypto sphere?
Honestly, I am not a big fun of cryptocurrencies but blockchain is something that can be helpful. Blockchain is a new trigger for the whole industry's change. We expect a high adoption of blockchain in the next five years. There are two answers why traditional companies should implement this technology. The shortest one is that they need it to gain money. But the longest one is also more precise and tells us that this technology enables things which were either very complicated and not justified by the business case to be implemented. It can help issue existing problems like operational, cost driven or problems with efficiency, or it can help share new ideas or even bring them to life through ICO.
Why do we need to create a business network first?
There is a variety of spheres where blockchain can be used. We can start from ICO and cryptocurrency, also supply chain maintenance and logistic, which opens a huge market with many new possibilities. We have to build a structure and to define all the advantages we can use. So, in order to talk about blockchain, we need to create a business network.
Nowadays, we have a great variety of blockchain systems and cryptocurrencies. Is it good or bad?
I think it is a normal development cycle. At the very beginning, each technology has standards, but their number is reducing with time, and in the end we have two or three main standards. And finally, interoperability becomes one of the main elements which allows to adopt one system to another. For example, in the HyperLedger project we have been trying to include interoperability from the very beginning.
What kind of blockchain solutions has IBM already developed?
IBM has developed Hyperledger Composer and Hyperledger Fabric which allow anyone to create its own platform for business and are very flexible and powerful solutions that use a transformative, value-producing network with a highly-secure, open-source power of the IBM Blockchain Platform.
IBM services allow to significantly reduce the development time, leverage policy-based governance tools and more. All of these are backed by always-on operations to support mission-critical workloads. IBM offers the highest level of blockchain security available through IBM Z. More than 1500 technical and industry experts at IBM Blockchain services rapidly turn blockchain investments into commercial success in financial services, supply chain, healthcare, retail, governments, and so on.
What plans does your company have for the future?
Our strategic direction is to bring innovative technologies to people. We are financing different researches and developments, maintaining new startups and looking for new ideas which we think can become an important part of the future. Being global, we need to work globally. We always need to understand who has all deep knowledge in this area. We cannot play the big game alone, so sharing knowledge is a key point here.
Do you have any collaborations with other blockchain and crypto startups?
Here on the blockchain and bitcoin conference, we are in a partnership with the Tbilisi based HT Solutions company. Also IBM started many free blockchain educational programs all over the world because it is very important to overcome fear before unknown technologies and to form a solid group of young and creative developers. IBM has long history in the IT sector, so we are able to bring blockchain to the world and to provide stable and secure services. Big companies do not do much noize, but they do work. It is less about publicity but it is more about bringing the foundation.
What would you advise young teams that want to start their own business?
The first thing is to start from small and manageable cases. Usually, technology is not the biggest challenge in your project. We all learn how to use blockchain for business.
You also have to attract many participants in order to create a trustful environment. Think about customers because without it every idea is doomed to be forgotten. You can drive efficiency by removing costs, reducing risks or improving speed. Organizations participating in the network will then be on equal footing. Together, they can learn how blockchain can help discover new revenue opportunities.
What role can IBM play in the future development of the global blockchain ecosystem?
In IBM, we have hundreds of cases representing how to successfully implement technologies into existing businesses. The key point is to make the system simple and profitable for participants and to keep information safe. IBM plays an important role in the Hyperledger foundation. With our technological experience and know-how, we help bring this technology to the enterprise level. As I said, we are global so we have to provide global knowledge about the innovation.