Application Platform Providers Heed the Call to Blockchain

Charlotte Dunlap – Principal Analyst, Application Platforms

Summary Bullets:

  • Traditional platform services including integration embedded into blockchain solutions will prevail in the competitive landscape.
  • Application platforms providers are beginning to offer BaaS, looking for ways to support repeatable operations by integrating the technology into core DevOps technologies.


Blockchain is just one form of distributed ledger technology (DLT), but considering the amount of investment being made in blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) offerings by vendors such as IBM and Oracle, it’s likely to become the main technology global companies will use to revolutionize global commerce.

Outdated business processes resulting in inefficiencies and fraud, coupled with ownership pressures around big data are prompting technology vendors to improve current methods of conducting global commerce. The desire for digital efficiencies built on analytics and big data insights promise to catapult the concept of blockchain, an immutable transaction hyper-ledger, into general use. Blockchain allows developers to build applications where partners can record transactions through a decentralized network, versus a central authority, to support extremely efficient peer-to-peer autonomous markets (e.g., smart markets such as electricity).

The nature of blockchain is its openness because first and foremost, those engaged in deploying this technology have to interact with business partners. There are a range of OSS projects currently underway. The two most popular DLTs in which vendors are steering initial solutions support are Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum. A DLT is a type of database which spans multiple sites, regions, or participants, and whose records are each cryptographically stamped for verification and security.

Traditional application platforms providers are beginning to offer BaaS, looking for ways to support repeatable operations by integrating the technology into core DevOps technologies. Blockchain will have a significant impact across the entire enterprise architecture, and is therefore best supported through middleware or integration solutions versus merely dropping pieces of software into existing processes. IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric has recently released its 1.1 version, alongside Hyperledger Composer; Oracle announced a beta version of Hyperledger Fabric BaaS; Amazon recently launched a BaaS offering; and Microsoft is hosting blockchain on Azure.

We’ve identified several market drivers that address DevOps and application lifecycle management (ALM) issues through pre-built templates and embedded technology within data management solutions. They include:

  • Advancements in processing power, which support high-speed big data demands, all herded intelligently via artificial intelligence such as machine learning, leveraging an autonomous digital ledger.
  • Global conglomerates, which operate across multiple geographies, and which are being tasked with absorbing acquisitions and consolidations due to increased pressure from antiquated systems.
  • The peer-to-peer distribution of contracts and records among enterprises and partners has become increasingly problematic, with the need to reduce the manual, paper-based process causing barriers to global trade and document processing.
  • DevOps models will embrace new vendors’ tools and frameworks shoring blockchain projects and focusing on easing developer and operations tasks via APIs and integration technology.

For more on this emerging topic, including a current state of the budding blockchain market, primary market drivers, and a summary of the latest activities taking place among PaaS providers, including IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, Microsoft, and Amazon, please see  PaaS Vendors Ready Simple Blockchain Services, June 29, 2018.

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