Why Enterprises Struggle When Adopting Blockchain

January 24, 2020
Anton Christoff

Anton Christoff

CSO of Ocyan

In today’s busy marketplaces, enterprises depend on their ability to adapt, quickly bring new products to the market and make changes as necessary.

Many companies consider Blockchain as a way to secure the required flexibility for achieving these objectives and streamlining their services. So much so, that enterprises are expected to spend $23 billion on Blockchain adoption over the next four years.

But, is Blockchain the answer? And how will your organisation adapt to these new changes?

With any significant change, there are challenges and hurdles along the way. By understanding some of these challenges as well as the general process, you can plan ahead and allow for a smooth transition.

Our guide walks you through the journey of R&D to enterprise production, so you’re fully informed on what to expect.

Getting Ready to Transform an R&D Project

One of the most significant challenges modern businesses face is their ability to quickly transform R&D projects into production-ready software solutions.

Rather than focusing on experimenting and solution-finding during the Proof of Concept (POC) stages, too many businesses get caught up in security, integrity, integration, interoperability, operability, and availability concerns. After all, managing and deploying an enterprise-grade system requires very different operations.

To address this problem, businesses need to find an easy, agile and reliable way to integrate enterprise-ready applications with emerging technologies. Modern Blockchain platforms often provide the perfect solution by allowing large corporations to continue supporting live, business-critical transactions and meeting strict SLAs (Service level agreements).

Taking a POC Success to Pre-Production

We’ve seen substantial investments in Blockchain technology over the last two years with the release of many enterprise blockchain PoCs (Proof of Concepts).

From PoC to Production

Proofs of Concepts allow enterprises to explore potential models in a sandboxed, safe environment. As the environment is separate from the rest of the organisation, it means enterprises can test new ideas, concepts and ways of working and determine the scope of a creative mission, how much it’ll cost and the expected outcome without impacting the rest of production.

But what happens when a POC project is successful? How do you then take the concept through the pre-production and production stages? How do you test the new model against legacy integrations, bureaucratic operations, Production SLAs and Quality Assurances?

Approaching Blockchain as a Middleware Solution

Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, we believe enterprises should approach Blockchain as a strategic future proof solution. The Blockchain solution should serve as the middleware of the entire architecture by bridging the gap between the existing legacy infrastructure and emerging technology stack.

This approach also allows enterprises to facilitate and track the project’s processes across their entire tech architecture to fully understand the situation and potential impacts.

At Ocyan, we’ve successfully pioneered and delivered a production-ready platform that provides the complete enterprise environment for blockchain applications. So, you and your partners can focus on your strengths and leave the lower infrastructure layers to us.

Blockchain as Part of the Architecture

Enterprise cloud infrastructure is usually split between front-end middlewares and backend computation. Front-end middlewares act as Demilitarised Zones (DMZ) or area where the security and access requirements meet the end-user applications (i.e., IoT, mobile apps, web apps, etc.). On the other hand, the back-end area holds critical data as well as your company’s computational and transactional service models.

How Does Blockchain Architecture Differ from a Standard Enterprise Solution?

Unlike traditional enterprise cloud solutions, Blockchain applications use a slightly different architecture. The DMZ and transactional logic live within the network itself which makes the security, DevOps and deployment processes different and more complicated.

Within this set-up, the Blockchain serves as a new integration network that connects the external state of the partners (consortium or open-network) with the backend requirements of the enterprise.

High Level Architecture

Blockchain Architecture Characteristics

The Inner Agent - Trusted DLT watcher

The Trusted DLT watcher addresses the lack of interoperability between the Blockchain ecosystem and other enterprise components. A series of interoperable middlewares act as the trusted “inner-agent” between the decentralised traffic and other enterprise cloud components.

Backend Integrations

The DLT services are directly connected to the backend via the Service Bus, which allows for triggers, connections and models between the DLT environment and enterprise cloud services. New components are easily integrated into any other part of the business.

Monitoring & Analytics

The DLT network traffic is translated into a Data Analytics Environment that SQL services can natively understand and process. This allows the business to access new data streams from the network to monitor performance and answer questions about inbound & outbound traffic.

What is Production Readiness?

“A production-ready application or service is one that can be trusted to serve production traffic … We trust it to behave reasonably. We trust it to perform reliably, and we trust it to get the job done and to do its job well with very little downtime.” -- Susan J. Fowler

Production readiness is when a software system is ready for live service or, in other words, when the system is ready for implementation.

Susan J. Fowler’s book provides a complete checklist to help companies understand when your service is ready for prime time. And that’s the whole essence behind every enterprise application.

How to Tell If Your Product is Ready:

  1. Stability & Reliability. You have a stable development and procedures
  2. Scalability & Performance. You have the resources available and have conducted capacity planning.
  3. Fault Tolerance and DR. You’ve engineered for resilience and incident management.
  4. Monitoring. You’ve set up dashboards, alerts, and logging functionality.
  5. Documentation. You have a centralised knowledge base.

A good service should consist of several components, each with several integration points allowing for cascading failure. But, how can you make sure your blockchain app is trustworthy and a component failure won’t bring your inventory or CRM down as a result?

Blockchain, from PoC to Enterprise Ready

Congratulations, you are making your big move, you are growing your blockchain application from a pre-production PoC to a Production integrated service. Your service now has to manage an actual business situation, support real business-critical transactions, and meet strict SLAs (Service Level Agreements).

Before popping that champagne, does your service tick all 100% of the production readiness? Does your architect team know the specifications and possible situations?

What might have you missed, and what does your enterprise architect want to see?

Make sure you have:

  • Nodes availability and disaster recovery operations
  • Address and key management for nodes and identities
  • Monitoring for insights and incident alerts
  • System interoperability with existing DevOps tools and practices
  • Upgradability and release cycle operations
  • A plan for the required resources
  • Documented APIs and integration points

Get from Zero to Hero with One Platform from Ocyan

If you’re thinking about launching a new Blockchain application, schedule a call with one of our team to find out more about our on-premise ‘cloud operating system’. We’ve worked with many tier-1 and tier-3 organisations within the FinTech, logistics, energy, oil and gas and telecom industries to scale, deploy and manage Blockchain applications within the enterprise environment.

Our on-premise ‘Cloud Operating System’ helps with the formation and management of trusted and secure Blockchain consortia, backend and legacy integrations with Blockchain and P2P networks and serverless data pipelines for any Blockchain networks.

Find out more about our services and how we can help here. Or follow us on twitter or LinkedIn to stay up-to-date.

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