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Integrate #Blockchain into Business | @CloudExpo #IoT #AI #FinTech #Bitcoin

It’s important to understand that blockchain isn’t a technology layered on top of existing infrastructures

Beyond Bitcoin: How Enterprises Can Integrate Blockchain into Business
By Kristy Blackmon

In 2016, blockchain technology came close to hitting its peak on Gartner's annual Hype Cycle, signaling an imminent shift from an emerging, theoretical technology to widespread adoption. Like cloud, big data, and the Internet of Things (IoT) before it, blockchain is the tech industry's latest Next Big Thing. Analysts and industry experts say it holds immense potential for organizations, but many business leaders don't yet see a practical application for their operations. While a lot of people know blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, what about enterprise applications in other industries?

What exactly is blockchain?
The code that makes up blockchain is incredibly complex, and only a few thousand people understand it. On a high level, it's a data structure supported by peer-to-peer (P2P) protocols that form a distributed, decentralized transaction ledger. Every member on the community network uses the same "consensus mechanism" to verify every transaction made through the network, creating a unique, permanent audit trail. Thanks to the distributed nature of the blockchain, there's no single point of failure, and no way to make modifications to the transaction record.

You may start to hear a new acronym-DLT, or Distributed Ledger Technology. Many experts think 2017 is the year blockchain technology will gain traction in the enterprise, and new mainstream understandings about the technology will lead to high-value applications and process simplifications as general adoption trends progress to line of business solutions.

It's important to understand that blockchain isn't a technology layered on top of existing infrastructures in order to tweak the way business is done. It requires a different way of thinking and an entirely new approach to business. There are no middlemen involved in a blockchain transaction to facilitate and verify the exchange; it's all done instantly on the distributed network, with the record of transaction logged permanently in the database. It's a machine-to-machine process that has no human touch points once the transaction is entered.

Enterprise use cases
Blockchain is the next iteration of the connected enterprise. It's the next logical step in a data sharing ecosystem in which every process is now-or will soon be-digital. The amount of data we have to process is overwhelming. As IoT takes hold, connected smart machines and devices will exchange information and execute automated tasks.

Blockchain is already used in a handful of applications including cryptocurrency. This year, as more people set their minds to understanding the technology and finding creative applications, we will see a sharp increase in new use cases in industries as diverse as agriculture, finance, healthcare, energy, and manufacturing.

  • Supply chain The immutability of DLT makes blockchain suited to banking and finance, which is why the first mature applications, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, are in this space. The responsibility for verifying and securing the transactions shifts from a central authority to the distributed network, and the ledger is public, which increases transparency. But you don't have to deal in cryptocurrency in order to find a fintech application for blockchain. The real promise for enterprises lies within the supply chain. Because transactions happen in real time, sales order processing, inventory management, and accounting work more closely together and at significantly increased speeds.

    Picture this: a women's apparel retail store does a booming business in a particular line of handbags. The store's inventory management system sends a purchase alert when it's time to order, and through the blockchain, the application sees available inventory and triggers a sales order. There's no need to verify the inventory is in stock; because of the transparency, the system knew that before it placed the order. Payment is automatically generated and transferred in real time, bypassing the bank entirely. With blockchain, a process that takes weeks could be completed in a matter of minutes.

  • Food and beverage
    When you deal with perishables, keeping an exact chain of custody is imperative. Walmart has partnered with IBM to test a blockchain application that tracks the pork it sells in China. Every step the product takes between farm and cash register is documented on the blockchain. The record shows where it originated, how and when it was processed, which truck transported it, at what temperature it was stored, when it will expire, and which store bought it.

    Right now, this application is only in the testing stage in a very small market, but the clear benefits mean it won't be long before using a blockchain in the food and beverage industry becomes best practice.

  • "Limited blockchains"
    Blockchains aren't only helpful when exchanging valuable assets with entities outside the enterprise trust circle. Some of the applications with the most creative potential are in private use cases where the data is shared with a smaller, pre-defined value chain. In many instances, these blockchains will be used in tandem with off-blockchain solutions and brokers because enterprises won't have the advantage of a vast P2P network of distributed entities. In this sense, they're limited blockchains.

    For example, the handbag manufacturer we outlined above may use a limited blockchain to manage its production schedule. From the sales team to the shop floor to the warehouse, every touchpoint in the product lifecycle is recorded on the blockchain, while more granular business processes are controlled off-blockchain. Or in healthcare, a consortium of medical care providers and insurance companies could use the blockchain to decentralize patient health records, creating one source of patient data. However, because of HIPAA regulations, there may need to be an off-blockchain application matching each blockchain node with the corresponding patient's sensitive identity information.

Challenges to overcome
The promise of blockchain is exciting, but there are some significant challenges to work out before widespread adoption is realistic. One of the biggest is security and privacy. In June of last year, hackers exploited a vulnerability in Ethereum's blockchain code to steal $60 million. Because of the distributed nature of the blockchain, a certain number of Ethereum's network would have had to agree to rewrite the rules in order to recover the money. Several refused to do so, citing the sanctity of blockchain's immutability.

It was eventually resolved, but the incident left the banking industry cold. A few months later, Accenture developed a way to edit the blockchain, which caused no small amount of controversy among blockchain purists. But the edit feature was welcomed by the financial industry. Before enterprises feel safe entrusting their financial records and other sensitive information to a blockchain, they'll need to see a lot of security advances.

The other big hurdle is the lack of regulation surrounding blockchain. Remember the FBI vs. Apple debacle where the feds wanted the manufacturer to unlock an iPhone used by terrorists in the San Bernardino shooting? The FBI used a 227-year-old statute as the basis of their argument. That's how slowly governments move on new technology.

However important the information on that iPhone, that situation was a lullaby compared to the alarm bells blockchain has set off. Remember, there's no intermediary for blockchain transactions. Banks are subject to federal regulations, but Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not. Further, new advances in blockchain encryption show promise for the ability to hide the origin or destination of the assets exchanged. This all spells trouble for governments trying to collect taxes or institute consumer protection laws.

On the practical side, the infrastructure needed to give a large blockchain such as Bitcoin integrity is massive. Some experts estimate that you'd need more than five megawatts of data center just to track users' currency. Blockchain applications require immense cloud infrastructures, with each transaction conducted as a virtual session within a data center. As blockchain grows, the demand on servers will increase dramatically, necessitating investments in advanced storage solutions such as hyper-converged infrastructure.

The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2025, one-tenth of our GDP will have made its way onto the blockchain. For a nascent technology, that's a bold prediction. But we're living through a period of technological transformation that moves at unprecedented speeds. If you're not already thinking about blockchain, you may already be behind.

The post Beyond Bitcoin: How Enterprises Can Integrate Blockchain into Business appeared first on Application Performance Monitoring Blog | AppDynamics.

20th International Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS - software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.

Download Show Prospectus ▸ Here

Cloud Expo is the single show where delegates and technology vendors can meet to experience and discuss the entire world of the cloud.

Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "Cloud-Ready" as it can be!

Sponsors of Cloud Expo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

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  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
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For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

The World's Largest "Cloud Digital Transformation" Event

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 New York 
(June 6-8, 2017, Javits Center, Manhattan)

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

Full Conference Registration Gold Pass and Exhibit Hall ▸ Here

Register For @CloudExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

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Sponsors of Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35 minute technical session
  • Online targeted advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage
  • Unprecedented Marketing Coverage: Editorial Coverage on ITweetup to over 100,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez (@GonzalezCarmen) today by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

Secrets of Sponsors and Exhibitors ▸ Here
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All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Track 1. FinTech
Track 2. Enterprise Cloud | Digital Transformation
Track 3. DevOps, Containers & Microservices 
Track 4. Big Data | Analytics
Track 5. Industrial IoT
Track 6. IoT Dev & Deploy | Mobility
Track 7. APIs | Cloud Security
Track 8. AI | ML | DL | Cognitive Computing

Delegates to Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo will be able to attend 8 simultaneous, information-packed education tracks.

There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content.

Join Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA for three days of intense Enterprise Cloud and 'Digital Transformation' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indispensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and (IIoT) Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) Digital Transformation in Vertical Markets.

Financial Technology - or FinTech - Is Now Part of the @CloudExpo Program!

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech, which will incorporate machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and blockchain into one track.

Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.

More than US$20 billion in venture capital is being invested in FinTech this year. @CloudExpo is pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program, starting at the 20th International Cloud Expo June 6-8, 2017 in New York City and October 31 - November 2, 2017 in Silicon Valley.

@CloudExpo is accepting submissions for this new track, so please visit www.CloudComputingExpo.com for the latest information.

Speaking Opportunities

The upcoming 20th International @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is open.

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(ISC)2, 24Notion (Bronze Sponsor), 910Telecom, Accelertite (Gold Sponsor), Addteq, Adobe (Bronze Sponsor), Aeroybyte, Alert Logic, Anexia, AppNeta, Avere Systems, BMC Software (Silver Sponsor), Bsquare Corporation (Silver Sponsor), BZ Media (Media Sponsor), Catchpoint Systems (Silver Sponsor), CDS Global Cloud, Cemware, Chetu Inc., China Unicom, Cloud Raxak, CloudBerry (Media Sponsor), Cloudbric, Coalfire Systems, CollabNet, Inc. (Silver Sponsor), Column Technologies, Commvault (Bronze Sponsor), Connect2.me, ContentMX (Bronze Sponsor), CrowdReviews (Media Sponsor) CyberTrend (Media Sponsor), DataCenterDynamics (Media Sponsor), Delaplex, DICE (Bronze Sponsor), EastBanc Technologies, eCube Systems, Embotics, Enzu Inc., Ericsson (Gold Sponsor), FalconStor, Formation Data Systems, Fusion, Hanu Software, HGST, Inc. (Bronze Sponsor), Hitrons Solutions, IBM BlueBox, IBM Bluemix, IBM Cloud (Platinum Sponsor), IBM Cloud Data Services/Cloudant (Platinum Sponsor), IBM DevOps (Platinum Sponsor), iDevices, Industrial Internet of Things Consortium (Association Sponsor), Impinger Technologies, Interface Masters, Intel (Keynote Sponsor), Interoute (Bronze Sponsor), IQP Corporation, Isomorphic Software, Japan IoT Consortium, Kintone Corporation (Bronze Sponsor), LeaseWeb USA, LinearHub, MangoApps, MathFreeOn, Men & Mice, MobiDev, New Relic, Inc. (Bronze Sponsor), New York Times, Niagara Networks, Numerex, NVIDIA Corporation (AI Session Sponsor), Object Management Group (Association Sponsor), On The Avenue Marketing, Oracle MySQL, Peak10, Inc., Penta Security, Plasma Corporation, Pulzze Systems, Pythian (Bronze Sponsor), Cosmos, RackN, ReadyTalk (Silver Sponsor), Roma Software, Roundee.io, Secure Channels Inc., SD Times (Media Sponsor), SoftLayer (Platinum Sponsor), SoftNet Solutions, Solinea Inc., SpeedyCloud, SSLGURU LLC, StarNet, Stratoscale, Streamliner, SuperAdmins, TechTarget (Media Sponsor), TelecomReseller (Media Sponsor), Tintri (Welcome Reception Sponsor), TMCnet (Media Sponsor), Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium, Veeam, Venafi, Violin Memory, VAI Software, Zerto

About SYS-CON Media & Events
SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com) has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events. The company's internationally recognized brands include among others Cloud Expo® (@CloudExpo), Big Data Expo® (@BigDataExpo), DevOps Summit (@DevOpsSummit), @ThingsExpo® (@ThingsExpo), Containers Expo (@ContainersExpo) and Microservices Expo (@MicroservicesE).

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