Infosys: Blockchain Tech Adoption Won't Take A Decade

(@pete_rizzo_) | Published on March 8, 2016 at 20:05 BST
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Infosys

IT consulting giant Infosys believes that estimates for how long it will take blockchain technology to achieve mainstream adoption are greatly exaggerated.

According to Infosys principal technology architect Peter Loop, work on blockchain applications will benefit from an accelerating pace of overall tech adoption that will soon put pressure on existing legacy financial solutions.

"It’s not 10 years away. It’s years or less away. The way the pace of technology works, the way continuous integration works, these things will be integrated pretty quickly once it happens," Loop said in a new interview.

The comments come amid increased competition among major consulting and audit firms for market share in the blockchain space. In addition to Infosys, Deloitte, IBM, PwC and KPMG have all recently sought to position themselves in the developing market.

For its part, Loop said Infosys is now working with clients to build proofs-of-concept (PoCs) and identify business use cases.

Loop told CoinDesk:

"We have a discussion group [on blockchain]... I think this is an area that is ripe for a lot of innovation."

Elsewhere, Loop was optimistic about other use cases, including syndicated loans and supply chain, stating that they would "allow for some interesting scenarios".

Based in Bangalore, India, Infosys boasts 193,000 employees and $8.7bn in revenues, according to its 2014-2015 annual report. Loop said the company is focusing on blockchain amid a desire to both identify new product lines and improve existing offerings.

Of note is how Infosys could bolster offerings such as Finacle, a product for banking, payments and treasury that aims to reduce software spending at financial institutions by consolidating global services.

Both products, Loop said, are a key part of Infosys’s strategy, as is what he described as its expansive client base in financial services.

"Infosys is not just a consulting group, we’re also a product group, so we are looking to productize what we’re doing. Infosys is in seven of the 10 top banks. Thirty-three percent of its revenue comes from financial services," he said.

Customer interest

Infosys is also seeing demand for blockchain services from clients who have heard the hype surrounding the technology, but whose understanding of the technology is somewhat limited.

"We have a lot of banks coming to us, saying they want to be the first to do blockchain," Loop said, adding that Infosys believes the technology is best explored collaboratively among financial firms.

Loop said Infosys is seeing three types of customers: those who don’t believe blockchain will be disruptive; those who confuse blockchain with bitcoin and those who are “gung-ho” about investigating potential applications.

For its part, Loop said Infosys remains excited about the technology.

In particular, he cited recent market developments such as interest from the DTCC and Microsoft as positive market indicators.

"How it ends up is going to be very interesting," Loop said. "I think it’s going to be the Internet of value transmission."

Killer apps

As of today, Loop said most Infosys clients are looking to "dip their toes" into the industry, testing out solutions such as blockchain-based document management, for example.

Loop said he sees this as a positive, a way for larger enterprises to start testing shared ledgers while identifying potential applications.

"I get that conversation from people who are in the learning stage. It’s a good learning approach [to avoid taking on] the most risky thing," he said.

Still, Loop said that he believes the possible efficiencies clients are seeking should be the point of emphasis in conversations.

"I think the purpose is not that blockchain wins but that efficiencies in the process win," Loop said.

Loop concluded:

"Pretty soon you’ll have a killer app. But, I hope none of them think it’s a blockchain app, that it’s just a solution."

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Infosys earned 75% of its revenue from financial services.

Image via Infosys

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