Deloitte: Hard-dollar investment in blockchain technology
Blockchain technology is entering a new era of mainstream adoption from all industry sectors who now recognise its long-term potential. Deloitte’s 2019 Global Blockchain Survey highlights a new chapter where one size doesn’t fit all.
Years after bitcoin introduced the world to blockchain, the technology continues to change the financial services industry along with other industries from manufacturing to healthcare in ways quite distinct from its original crypto-driven applications.
The global survey shows industries are now “making hard-dollar investments in blockchain initiatives” and consider it a top five critical priority. Deloitte polled 1,386 senior executives to gain greater insights into attitudes and investments to blockchain technology and its potential for the future.
The report highlights blockchain appears to be entering a period of practical adoption as all sectors grasp the technology’s long-term potential. Organisations from technology, media, telecommunications (TMT), life sciences, health care (LS&HC) and government are expanding their blockchain initiatives.
“What all such data from our survey points to is a sorting-out process, as each industry pursues blockchain in a way that best serves its collective interests. Put another way, just as there is no single way that industries will develop blockchain applications, there is no universal approach to industrial blockchain adoption.”
How blockchain is shaping the future
Seven out of 10 of the companies are currently hiring blockchain talent, particularly in the TMT sector with 56% leading this trend which suggests it importance for the future. A total of 65% of the manufacturing sector considers blockchain technology a top five critical priority for their industry while 61% of IP&C agree it will enable new business functionalities and revenue streams.
Bookchain technology is being used for the following services:
• Data access/sharing
• Data validation
• Digital currency
• ID protection
• Records reconciliation
Will the technology work?
The survey shows the shared belief that blockchain is real and that it can serve as a pragmatic solution to business problems across all industries. The prevailing question among executives is no longer, “Will the technology work?” but rather, “How can we make technology work for us?”
The survey revealed 40% of respondents said their companies plan to invest US$5 million or more in blockchain initiatives in the next 12 months. The degree of commitment varies across industries, with (TMT leading the pack at 49%, followed by energy & resources (E&R) and manufacturing at 43% each.
Substantially more respondents say they plan to put blockchain into production in the next year than have already done so with 32% of TMT saying they have put the technology into production, while 44% of that industry say they will do so within the next year.
On the subject of consortiums, 90% of respondents from all sectors said they belonged to one (or plan to join one within a year) and were willing to work with competitors. In the Industrial Products & Construction (IP&C) sector cost savings (65%) and learning opportunities (58%) were the top reasons for working together.
“Such is the versatile character of blockchain that each industry - indeed, each organisation within each industry - explores what works for it,” concludes the report.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”