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Vendia 2023 Predictions: 2023 could finally be the year of enterprise blockchain success

vmblog-predictions-2023 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2023.  Read them in this 15th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

2023 could finally be the year of enterprise blockchain success

By Tim Wagner, co-founder and CEO of Vendia

It's not hard to see why there has been continued excitement from business and technology leaders about blockchains. This technology, and the "single source of business truth" that it promises, has the ability to provide highly valuable outcomes for companies of all sizes. The biggest draw is that blockchain can enable real-time data sharing across multiple parties, clouds, and geographies. Regardless of where they are or who owns or operates them, every data-using application can be made consistent, complete, and instantly up to date at all times - a bold and disruptive promise to business and technology managers alike.

At the same time, I don't know of another technology associated with more deployment failures and abandoned projects - the latest being the shutdowns of Maersk/IBM TradeLens and the Australian Stock Market's blockchain. Despite its potential, blockchain as a whole has yet to live up to its potential and promises.

Fortunately, this isn't the end of the story, just the end of its first chapter. There is real, positive progress happening with distributed ledger technology and with managing and sharing data across partners and multiple parties efficiently and in real time. When implemented well ("well" meaning cloud enabled, enterprise-ready, and SaaS-deliverd) blockchain is already helping companies tackle hard-to-solve problems such as supply chain efficiencies, emissions tracking, and computer chip production. As the saying goes, the future is already here...it's just not evenly distributed yet.

I predict that 2023 will be the year we hear about successful blockchain deployments that drive real business outcomes. Why the shift? The main reason many first generation blockchains have failed up until this point, is that they were too costly, too complex, and took way too much time to implement before companies saw real ROI. First generation systems were also "cloud antagonistic" instead of cloud enabled, and completely ignored enterprise concerns like compliance, infrastructure management costs, and the availability and integration with existing storage technologies common to enterprise tech stacks.

Unsurprisingly, if you fill in those critical gaps, the equation changes: Emerging second generation blockchain technology is able to learn from the mishaps and missing features of the first generation, and there are real glimmers of success in the latest innovations:

  • Second generation blockchains embrace public clouds as both an implementation technique for scaling and as an integration target to make developers' lives easier. They integrate seamlessly with cloud-based storage systems, databases, and streaming data solutions by design.
  • Second-generation systems are also offered as low-code SaaS services, with no infrastructure to deploy, no downtime or staffing needed for upgrades, and seamless behind-the-scenes scalability and fault tolerance "out of the box". Complex assurance programs like SOC2, GDPR, and CCPA are built in, rather than left as expensive "DIY" projects for staff- and funding-starved IT teams.
  • Files in second generation systems are first-class entities, as easy and built in as any other data type, with no need for cumbersome, expensive, or complicated third party solutions to store semi-structured or unstructured data. Companies who rely on file exchange internally or externally can get started instantly, with no learning curve, and yet enjoy all the benefits of "blockchain tech": immutability, cross-cloud sharing, and a single source of truth with partners.

We are still in the early days of innovating for the next wave of Web3 technology, and while those early blockchain-as-enterprise-infrastructure failures were definitely frustrating, they also provided the critical product feedback needed to course correct, enabling the next generation of blockchains, and their customers, to reach their full potential. I believe 2023 is the year we will see real, definitive, and durable progress for blockchain as a business solution.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tim Wagner

Tim Wagner is the co-founder and CEO of Vendia, a Series B startup at the forefront of next-generation blockchain and serverless infrastructure. Holding a PhD in Computer Science from Berkeley, Tim worked at Amazon Web Services for five years as a General Manager where he invented AWS Lambda, helping pave the way for early serverless infrastructure. After AWS, he joined Coinbase as VP of Engineering. At Coinbase, he helped create the world's most open, secure, and accessible financial system. 

Published Wednesday, January 25, 2023 7:35 AM by David Marshall
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