Recently Survey Suggests IT Vendors Could Hold Back Blockchain Technology

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Major global IT vendors – including leading hardware, systems software, eCommerce, big data, cloud, network, telco and systems integrator companies – have little wisdom, advice or vision to offer their customers and prospects when it comes to blockchain technology, according to a survey ‘Searching in Vain for the Blockchain‘ just conducted by enterprise IT specialist consulting firm Lighthouse Partners.

“Despite all that it has going for it, blockchain technology won’t hit mainstream acceptance without the participation of major global IT vendors,” said Harris. “History shows that enterprise users partner with major global IT vendors to craft their emerging technology strategies. That has been the case with innovations including big data, cloud computing, mobile commerce and open source, and it’s what blockchain needs in order to succeed. For their part, the major global IT vendors need to work with the startups innovating in this space to create their own product and service offerings.”

Lighthouse Partners Principal Peter Harris conducted a simple survey of 100 major global IT vendors, searching each company’s website for the “blockchain” term. Some 77% of those companies had no mention at all of the innovative technology, a figure that rose to 85% when management consultancies and IT analysts were removed from the results.

Interest in blockchain technology has taken off in recent months because of its promise to simplify the technology infrastructure needed to run financial services, healthcare, legal services and government. Business media reports on the technology are appearing daily, more than 25 major banks are investigating its uses, around 100 startups are developing blockchain-based applications and nearly $1 Billion of venture capital has been invested to date (a figure similar to investment in the internet in its early years).

Moreover, the influential World Economic Forum is a fan. According to its September 2015 report “Deep Shift – Technology Tipping Points and Societal Impact,” it believes that blockchain approaches will impact global commerce in a big way, predicting that 10% of global gross domestic product will be storied in blockchains by 2027.

But that’s a prediction that won’t play out, says report author Peter Harris, Principal at Lighthouse, unless major global IT vendors catch up lost ground and engage with the new technology and with their customers and prospects on how to leverage it.

As the survey points out, right now, most major global IT vendors have nothing to offer their customers and prospects when they come looking for guidance. Those that do have mainly ‘what is the blockchain?’ blog posts. Having followed the business media, customers for the most part know more about blockchains than the major global IT vendors that they traditionally turn to for forward thinking and solutions.

In order to address the lack of understanding and initiatives relating to blockchain by the major IT global vendors, Lighthouse Partners – which since 2000 has worked with leading technology innovators to bring their products to market – has begun to offer its expertise to them in order to accelerate their endeavors.

Lighthouse Partners intends to follow up this survey with additional more focused research into how major global IT vendors are engaging in the blockchain space, and encourages companies to get in touch to discuss their approaches and intent.

In addition to consulting, Lighthouse Partners is producing The blockchain Conference, to take place in San Francisco on February 10, 2016. A major goal of the conference is to encourage the necessary dialog and engagement the enterprise IT ecosystem – both vendors and users – and the startups innovating in the blockchain space.

Noted Peter Harris:

“2027 isn’t so far away. If the World Economic Forum’s prediction stands any chance of coming true, the major global IT vendors and startups need to get working right now with their enterprise customers. Hopefully The blockchain Conference can help them do that.”

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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