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Market Guide for Blockchain Consulting and Proof-of-Concept Development Services

Published: 13 March 2018 ID: G00326939

Analyst(s):

Summary

Organizations are starting to review the potential of blockchain to disrupt their industry through new business models and efficiencies. With skills in demand, sourcing and vendor management leaders need to explore the market for consultancy services to navigate the fast-evolving blockchain world.

Overview

Key Findings

  • Organizations are looking for blockchain consultancy services to help them across the entire adoption life cycle. Issues with the low maturity of blockchain and unclear business ROI mean that most engagements continue to remain focused on strategic advice and creation of proof of concept (POC) solutions.

  • Consultancy service providers are still developing blockchain-specific strategies for the full project life cycle. Most providers lack the maturity to properly address the risk, integration, business process and operations aspects of blockchain deployments.

  • The pool of experienced blockchain service providers is growing rapidly, with the ramp-up of existing consultancy services complemented by the proliferation of specialist blockchain consultancy service providers. As the examination of blockchain has expanded rapidly beyond the financial services offerings, every geography and every vertical now has service providers.

Recommendations

Sourcing and vendor management leaders seeking to prepare and plan for blockchain initiatives should:

  • Utilize consultancy services to explore the disruptive potential of blockchain and build skills where appropriate. Limit risk by ensuring stakeholders understand that most engagements will not proceed beyond the POC, and by limiting the scope, scale and spend involved.

  • Analyze the five types of support offered by a blockchain consultancy service provider and seek a specialist in the particular area your organization requires. Do this by utilizing specialist consultancy providers for deep technical skills, business consulting firms for strategic and risk advice, and technology service providers for business impact and implementation capabilities.

  • Build out your blockchain initiative one step at a time — getting executive buy-in, laying the knowledge foundation, developing the technical skills and then piloting. Recognize that resources are scarce, and no provider has yet established a mature practice in all areas. Plan to partner with the most appropriate consultancy service provider for each stage of the initiative.

Market Definition

Business interest in blockchain (sometimes also called a "distributed ledger" — see Note 2) has increased hugely in the last two years, with "blockchain" being the single most searched-for word on Gartner's website in 2017. 1 Blockchain and related technologies provide the potential basis to drive transformation across numerous business processes in multiple industries, to generate process cost savings worth billions of dollars and to create trust for complex ecosystems. 2 For this reason, Gartner now forecasts that, by 2025, blockchain will generate an annual business value of over $175 billion, rising to over $3 trillion by 2030. 3

With blockchain having such potential, organizations across all verticals are starting to investigate what the technology means for their industry, explore its potential impacts within their business and try it out on sample use cases. However, there is a shortage of skilled staff who both understand blockchain technology and can also help align that technology with potential business opportunities. Because of their scarcity, those staff who are available are very expensive. 4 As a result, client demand has generated a rapid growth in blockchain consultancy services. Large existing consultancy providers have rapidly trained up extensive consultancy teams. Small specialist providers with skills in the technical aspects of blockchain have also seen an opportunity to enter a growing market in significant numbers.

In this rapidly evolving market, understanding the requirements and offerings of such consultants to support both strategy engagements and technical POC services is essential. This Market Guide will provide sourcing and vendor management leaders with insight into the nature of the market and its potential evolution. In addition, it will illustrate the wide range of providers who deliver blockchain strategy and POC consultancy services.

Gartner defines the market for blockchain consulting and POC development services as professional services to help clients ideate, assess and exploit the business possibilities of blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies (DLTs). Such services support organizations in implementing new business strategies that use blockchain technologies to achieve business goals.

Market Description

Most buying organizations are in the very early stages of discovery and experimentation around blockchain, with the aim of proving the viability of its use in their businesses. As a result, blockchain consultancy services continue to largely serve the early phases of the project life cycle. Strategy consulting, analysis of specific use cases and creation of technical POCs continue to be the main areas of consultancy engagement, as Figure 1 shows.

Figure 1. Blockchain Consultancy Is Strongest in Early Phases, Due to Major Challenges Later
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

The professional services that form part of consultancy offerings may involve the provision of strategic advice on the impact of blockchain on a given business or specific industry. Alternatively, or additionally, they may involve the creation of blockchain POC solutions for examining the viability of a particular blockchain use case.

Actual market — The market for blockchain consultancy includes emerging advisory and technology services related to ideating, assessing, strategizing and exploring new business models. These aim to help clients see how to apply blockchain technologies to derive new revenue streams or significant business or IT process improvements for enterprises.

Typical buyers — Buyers of these services include business executives, IT leaders, sourcing and vendor management leaders, CxOs, IT leaders, business process innovators, digital innovators, or business innovators.

Desired business outcomes — The outcomes that buyers are seeking include the development of new products or services, cost optimization on existing processes, disruptive new business models, or business and IT operational models.

Actual deliverables — Depending on the nature of the services provided, deliverables may include the desired future state of strategy and architecture, gap analysis, roadmap for implementation, small-scale POCs and subsequent pilots (see Note 3 for a definition of POCs and pilots).

How buyers shape their buying decision — Buyers use the ideation process and techniques to identify blockchain initiatives. Organizations seek some or all of the following characteristics in service providers to support their blockchain initiatives:

  • Capabilities to support the identification of blockchain opportunities and create the business case with or on behalf of the buyer

  • Demonstrable track record of blockchain POCs or a few blockchain projects for comparable buyer organizations and requirements

  • Established partnerships or participation in a consortium focused on blockchain solutions and competencies

  • Clear, usable business frameworks and roadmaps, which are vertical-specific, for blockchain technology applications to meet the buyer's business objectives and requirements

  • Strength in a range of skills, including distributed computing, cryptography, business model analysis, game theory and behavioral economics

  • An understanding both of the buyer's business ecosystem and of possible business benefits that might result from a blockchain solution

How providers package, market and deliver — Providers market their services primarily through projects charged on a time-and-materials basis, covering ideation, strategy, roadmap, business cases, and POC creation and integration. Other delivery models include joint partnership delivery with blockchain technology vendors, startups and Internet of Things (IoT) niche providers. Service providers package their blockchain capabilities in two main propositions:

  • Ideation processes specifically to develop blockchain initiatives, coupled with an understanding of one or more blockchain technologies, in combination with specific vertical and business model experience.

  • Blockchain technology skills focused on utilizing blockchain technologies to create small-scale POCs (or subsequent pilots). Such POCs aim to theoretically prove the technical and business viability of a particular blockchain use case for a client and establish any potential issues.

Market Direction

Once they begin to review blockchain, many organizations will overcome the initial challenges of understanding the disruption that it could create and will help develop a business case for a POC. (For a definition of "POC" and "pilot," see Note 4). However, in later phases of a blockchain initiative, key technical limitations of existing blockchain platforms become major issues, as shown in Figure 1. The lack of scalability to real-world transaction volumes, complexity in managing data and problems integrating with legacy systems will all create problems. 5 If these issues are overcome and a pilot is undertaken, then many projects still fail to progress to full implementation due to the need to engage substantial numbers of other organizations in the solution. Often, such organizations will not wish to participate, due to competing or limited interests in a blockchain project, or due to substantial investments in their own solutions. For some of the most complex blockchain use cases, the onboarding and maintenance of the ecosystem, setting standards, and monitoring behavior are the biggest barriers to scale. Even with a workable blockchain offering today, these issues mean it still might take 10 years to scale because of this.

In later years, Gartner predicts that the current rising numbers of blockchain consultancy services will be impacted by technical issues with implementing blockchain-based solutions. This will create substantial changes in the number of blockchain consultancies over the next few years, as Figure 2 shows.

Figure 2. The Blockchain Adoption Cycle Will Drive the Number of Blockchain Consultancies

Note: Blockchain forecast data taken from "Forecast: Blockchain Business Value, Worldwide, 2017-2030."

Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

The market for blockchain consultancies will show three distinct phases:

  • Expansion — With the majority of organizations still seeking strategic advice on blockchain, it is unsurprising that large business consultancies and global technology service providers (TSPs) have initially dominated the market for strategic, board-level advice. At the same time, the barrier to entry for new consultancies has been relatively low, as they do not need to address operational issues in consulting or POC engagements. This has led to the creation of many new, specialist blockchain consultancies by developers with hands-on experience of blockchain technology, as the list of providers given later shows. As the demand for early-stage services increases, this rapid growth in numbers of specialist consultancies will continue through to 2021. In this phase, consultancies are likely to view their blockchain offerings as a way to motivate clients to spend more money with them. Buyers need to ensure they will see enough value through engaging such a consultancy service provider.

  • Rationalization — As blockchain technologies mature and the business value of the technology becomes clearer, organizations will increasingly seek to move POCs to pilot and full implementation. At this point, blockchain initiatives will have to deal with the process change, integration, security, privacy and compliance issues of any IT project. In addition, they will need to handle the blockchain-specific issue of onboarding other stakeholders that support their value chain. At the same time, Gartner expects the number of blockchain platforms to reduce to fewer than five, as explained in "The Evolving Landscape of Blockchain Technology Platforms." Smaller consultancies will come under pressure, firstly, in delivering the skills and effort required in moving significant projects to full live operation. Secondly, they may find that skills in a particular platform or technology are no longer relevant as technologies evolve. As a result, the smallest consultancies will exit the market, merge into larger providers or pivot their business model to new areas, leading to a reduction in the number of consultancies from 2022 through 2026.

  • Growth As the technology matures and the market value from blockchain grows rapidly from 2025 onward, consultancies will be in increasing demand for their specialist knowledge. The remaining consultancies will rapidly build their businesses, both through organic growth and through further consolidation of smaller consultancies. In addition, there may be other entrants to the market, drawn in by the potential of new business opportunities.

Market Analysis

Provider Segmentation

The market for blockchain consultancy services is still in its early phases and is evolving rapidly as providers build skills and learn from engagements. The huge business potential of blockchain is attracting a variety of different entrants to the market, and barriers to entry are low, as most engagements will not see the initial consulting proceed to production. This has resulted in four distinct types of providers in this marketplace:

  • Business consulting firms — Seeing the potential for long-term revenue development, large specialist business consultancies have rapidly established blockchain centers of excellence. Initially, their focus was on providing strategic advice to executive teams on the disruptive threat of blockchain. More recently, though, this has extended to offering technical development of POC solutions and even a very limited move of projects to production.

  • Technology service providers — Global TSPs have been quick to bring blockchain to the attention of their clients. They have seen blockchain as an opportunity to build consultancy revenue, by utilizing their understanding of both the technical issues of blockchain and the business processes of the verticals they serve. While they provide strategic consultancy advice, their main focus has been on taking defined use cases into the POC stage and attempting to resolve integration, security and scalability issues.

  • Blockchain specialist consultancies — With the market for blockchain consultancy growing rapidly, there is high demand for technical staff with demonstrable blockchain skills. Seeing this opportunity, many consultants who have worked on initial blockchain platforms have set up their own independent consultancies. These are usually small in scale, but offer deep technical development capability and experience of blockchain, and often have delivered proportionately more solutions to production than other groups of providers. 6

  • Crowdsourced offerings — In the same way, the demand for technical skills to create POCs has seen other experienced developers offer their services for small engagements directly to the market via crowdsourcing platforms. While the analysis of these is beyond the scope of this Market Guide, the use of crowdsourced providers may be particularly attractive to midsize enterprises seeking blockchain skills. Such crowdsourced providers include Topcoder, twago, Upwork and emerging blockchain-based skill-sharing platforms. 7

Provider Offerings

Gartner has identified five areas of consultancy service offerings that organizations will require from providers across the life cycle of a successful blockchain engagement. As Figure 3 shows, some of these are currently commonly available, while others are still emerging as the market and the technology mature.

Figure 3. Current and Emerging Blockchain Consultancy Service Offerings
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

With the hype and uncertainty surrounding blockchain, organizations seek consultancy support to address five key areas:

  1. Strategy — At the executive level, an organization will turn to a consultancy service provider for advice on the disruption that blockchain will bring to their industry. From this, a consultancy can also help to create the analysis and approach to address issues that are identified. In this area, the leading providers have strong track records of providing strategic advice and thought leadership in the same vertical as the client. For this reason, strategic advice remains a core focus of many business consulting firms; however, large TSPs also deliver in this space.

  2. Business — Once an organization makes a decision to go further with blockchain, it will use consultancy services to identify suitable use cases and build the requirements and investment case for these. The leading consultancies differentiate their services through strong industry knowledge, coupled with an ability to identify where blockchain is suitable for a problem and where it is not. Both business consulting firms and TSPs are developing strong track records in this area, but specialist consultancies can provide equally strong value, coupled with a more-agile approach to delivery.

  3. Technology — Consultancy service offerings that deliver prebuilt frameworks, APIs, reference architectures and technical roadmaps can accelerate the process of taking a use case forward into a POC. The strongest providers will not only bring their own intellectual property to an engagement, but also have strong relationships with platform providers and networks of startups to stay abreast of rapid technical developments. This is an area where IT-focused providers, both large TSPs and specialist consultancies, are strongest, but business consulting firms have seen the demand and built strong technical capabilities to address this. Specialist providers can also differentiate through unique understanding of particular technologies.

  4. Risk — Consultancy service offerings that analyze the security and risk issues around business models, blockchain technologies and processes are currently underdeveloped and immature. With very few use cases moving beyond POC into pilot or live production, only the largest business consulting firms and a few TSPs are beginning to explore these issues with clients. This is particularly the case in the areas of audit, tax planning and (for blockchain startups) initial coin offerings (ICOs, see Note 4). This is an area which will see growth as blockchain technology matures and an increased number of projects move toward live use.

  5. Integration — The least-well-developed consultancy service is in the integration of blockchain solutions into existing business and IT operations, with the few live blockchain solutions mostly existing alongside current operational processes. As successful projects become more commonplace, service providers will need to have the capability to integrate the new technology and platform into existing business processes and legacy systems. To do this, they will need to use open APIs and to maintain these integration points, despite the rapid evolution of technology on both sides of the integration. In this area, we expect global TSPs to lead the market due to their skills and experience in doing this on previous projects, while specialist consultancies are likely to struggle.

Beyond integration, no provider can yet claim significant experience with the operational aspects of blockchain in production. Of the 398 consultancy service engagements reported to Gartner, fewer than 4% resulted in a system that the provider itself defined as "live." 8 Gartner's view is that the actual percentage of systems that the market would recognize as being fully in production use and completely replacing an existing business process is even lower. As such, although the capabilities of consultancies to support blockchain services operationally will become important as more such solutions come to market, no provider has this expertise yet. Buyers who believe their POCs will move forward to production should examine carefully the capabilities of providers in this area and expect providers to be able to detail potential issues and risks. This is potentially the single most differentiating domain for the large TSPs, where niche and large consulting firms will not aim to compete.

Because of a current lack of end-to-end capability within blockchain consultancies, buyers should be aware that even consultancy advice provided in the mature areas of these offerings may have weaknesses later in the cycle. Greater requirements for an industrialized solution as a project progresses through the POC and pilot stages toward implementation may require the buying organization to revisit previous advice, and even to reconsider it. Buyers should be aware of this weakness when purchasing consultancy services and buyers should evaluate prospective providers according to the criteria below, selecting those criteria most relevant to their use case:

  • Consultancy offerings — Do the provider's consultancy service offerings match the organization's needs and current digital maturity? Can it provide examples of comparable advice it gave to organizations similar to yours? To what extent will a weakness in a particular type of offering impact the initiative later?

  • Technology support — What blockchain technologies does the provider have experience in? Are these mainstream? Are they mature? How will the provider deal with the evolution of the technologies it uses? Does it have standard architectures to use? Can it provide accelerators for development? Will the provider advise against blockchain if it is not suitable?

  • Real-world deployment — Does the provider have blockchain systems in production? How many systems? For how long? In what industries?

  • Knowledge transfer — Has the provider been able to transfer skills and knowledge about blockchain technology and business models to its customers? If so, how has this been measured, and how does it compare with past projects?

  • Ecosystem advancement — Is the provider able to help its clients onboard other members of the ecosystem (suppliers, competitors, regulators and so on) to take full advantage of the opportunities related to blockchain?

The following criteria should be applied, depending on the use case under consideration:

  • Cost reduction — Has the provider been able to reduce costs for its clients via the use of blockchain technology? If so, how much of a reduction was achieved? Over what time period? What level of investment was required to achieve this cost reduction?

  • Business process acceleration — Has the provider been able to accelerate business processes for its customers? If so, to what degree? Did these accelerated processes result in increased business value? If so, according to what metrics?

  • Business model innovation — Has the provider been able to innovate with new business models and new sources of revenue? If so, what impact have these models had? Which metrics (such as increased revenue, new customers, new markets or other metric) were used?

Vertical and Geographic Focus

With blockchain's potential to streamline processes through immutable record keeping, and its potential to disrupt through disintermediation, it has applicability across all industries and geographies. While the financial services industry was the first to explore blockchain in detail, other industries have begun to make increasing investment in the last year (see "Blockchain Trials Across Industries Show the Pulse of a Rapidly Moving Professional Services Market" ). In light of this, several consultancy service providers have changed their focus to unregulated verticals. In these verticals, blockchain projects may be relatively easier due to reduced regulation, a more-obvious efficiency-based business case and the client being able to mandate its supply chain to use the blockchain solution. For this reason, organizations can now find niche consultancies focusing on any given vertical. Similarly, while the majority of experimentation has initially been in established geographies, there are no geographic barriers to use-case development or access to consultancy support.

Recommendations

Sourcing and vendor management leaders seeking to prepare and plan for blockchain initiatives should:

  • Recognize that blockchain is an emerging, transformational technology. Ensure that executive stakeholders understand that, despite its immaturity, blockchain's impact will be substantial, and their organization requires a strategic plan of response.

  • Evaluate the use of consultancies as one of several ways of developing blockchain knowledge, skills and experience. Develop stakeholder understanding of the value of the skills and experience that blockchain POCs provide, even when these do not proceed into production.

  • Analyze the maturity of the organization's digital adoption and its blockchain knowledge to identify the type of consultancy service required. Select consultancies based on a combination of blockchain-specific skills, commercial business acumen and vertical knowledge by using the evaluation criteria listed in this research.

  • Recognize that no single consultancy service provider is a specialist in every stage of the blockchain project life cycle, and plan to work with multiple consultancies at different stages of a blockchain project.

Representative Vendors

The vendors listed in this Market Guide do not imply an exhaustive list. This section is intended to provide more understanding of the market and its offerings.

Gartner selected the following service providers based on their provision of strategic advice, creation of POCs, and helping clients take POCs into pilot or production. In addition to the providers listed below, there is a wide range of other blockchain consultancies that we have not listed here, including Accenture, B9lab, Blockchain Lab, Bloq, Cegeka, CGI, ChainThat, Chainvine, Corechain, Deloitte, DigitalX, Ethworks, Lightrains Technolabs, Red Octopus, Prolitus, Reply, String Labs, Vanbex Group and others.

As the representative providers in Table 1 show, organizations can secure support in all verticals and all countries.

Table 1.   Blockchain Focus Areas of Consulting Providers

Provider

Provider Type

Staff With Blockchain Skills

Geographic Focus: Top Three Countries/Regions

Top Three Vertical Focus

Applied Blockchain

Blockchain specialist

30 FTEs

U.K.

Europe

U.S.

Manufacturing and natural resources

Transportation

Communications, media and services

BCS Technology

Blockchain specialist

23 FTEs

Singapore

Australia

U.K.

Banking

Insurance

Education

Blockchain Zoo

Blockchain specialist

20 FTEs + 40 associates

Singapore

Malaysia

Indonesia

Securities

Banking

Communications, media and services

Capgemini

TSP

150 FTEs

North America

Europe

Australia

Banking

Insurance

Securities

Chainsmiths

Blockchain specialist

20 FTEs

Canada

U.S.

U.K.

Manufacturing and natural resources

Securities

Insurance

Cognizant

TSP

Prefers not to disclose

U.S.

Europe

Middle East

Banking

Securities

Wholesale trade

ConsenSys

Blockchain specialist

700 FTEs

North America

Europe

Middle East

Banking

Manufacturing and natural resources

Government

EPAM

TSP

120 FTEs

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Europe

U.S.

Retail

Banking

Healthcare providers

EY

Business consulting firm

>500 FTEs

U.S.

U.K.

Australia

Healthcare providers

Insurance

Manufacturing and natural resources

Fintricity

Blockchain specialist

10 FTEs + 40 associates

U.K.

Germany

UAE

Manufacturing and natural resources

Utilities

Wholesale trade

Fujitsu

TSP

80 FTEs

U.K.

U.S.

Japan

Banking

Government

Retail

GFT

TSP

20-30 FTEs

Italy

Germany

U.K.

Banking

Securities

Manufacturing and natural resources

IBM

TSP

1,600 FTEs

U.S.

China

EMEA

Banking

Retail

Transportation

Infosys

TSP

600 FTEs + 1,000 consultants

North America

Europe

Asia/Pacific (APAC)

Banking

Utilities

Government

KPMG

Business consulting firm

300 FTEs

APAC

U.S.

Europe

Banking

Insurance

Securities

LTI

TSP

170 FTEs

U.S.

Nordics

India

Manufacturing and natural resources

Banking

Government

Luxoft

TSP

100 FTEs

Europe

U.S.

APAC

Healthcare providers

Transportation

Securities

NTT DATA

TSP

>170 FTEs

Japan

Europe

North America

Banking

Utilities

Insurance

PwC

Business consulting firm

340 FTEs

U.S.

China

U.K.

Transportation

Manufacturing and natural resources

Healthcare providers

Synechron

Blockchain specialist

100 FTEs

U.S.

U.K.

Canada

Banking

Securities

Insurance

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

TSP

>300 FTEs

U.S.

U.K.

India

Banking

Securities

Communications, media and services

Tech Mahindra

TSP

90 FTEs

U.S.

U.K.

India

Banking

Government

Manufacturing and natural resources

Virtusa

TSP

110 FTEs

U.S.

U.K.

UAE

Banking

Communications, media and services

Securities

Wipro

TSP

>850 FTEs

Europe

U.S.

UAE

Utilities

Banking

Manufacturing

Zensar

TSP

Prefers not to disclose

U.S.

Germany

Australia

Manufacturing and natural resources

Retail

Insurance

FTE = full-time equivalent

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Note: Gartner created the profiles below from information shared by each provider, and has not evaluated this for accuracy.

Applied Blockchain

www.appliedblockchain.com

Table 2.   Applied Blockchain

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

Applied Blockchain's approach to client projects starts with ensuring that there is value in using blockchain in the first place and steering to alternative technologies when they are the best choice. For projects that can benefit from blockchain, they can be involved in all aspects, from planning, technology design and implementation. The company's approach focuses on helping clients within areas that are pertinent to blockchain projects, including technology architecture, governance, security, enterprise integration and satisfying nonfunctional requirements.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

Applied Blockchain's blockchain-specific offerings span business consulting, technology consulting, application services and infrastructure services. Technology intellectual property (IP) includes components in security, identity, privacy (including General Data Protection Regulation), data storage, front-end solutions, smart contracts and scalability.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

Technologies supported by Applied Blockchain include Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). Partnership with Microsoft U.K.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

BCS Technology

www.bcstechnology.com.au

Table 3.   BCS Technology

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

BCS provides both blockchain consulting and implementation services through its specialist blockchain subsidiary, Bloxian. On the consulting side, BCS focuses on advising on best-suited technology, step-by-step approaches around change management and on feasibility once blockchain implementation has been determined by the client to be of value. On the implementation side, BCS starts with an assessment of network capability and governance, followed by a combined waterfall and scrum delivery approach, network deployment, and development of decentralized applications ("dapps") with integration to existing systems.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

BCS has developed frameworks around property auction and settlement on blockchain in the banking sector. It is also focused on further building capabilities within its Blox product, which currently leverages a patented low-code development platform that enables clients to build, test and deploy blockchain use cases. CorDapps allows customers to rapidly build and deploy blockchain-based services for business needs. It supports recoded smart contract templates, flows for verifying/signing/sending transactions to parties and storing in a ledger, integration connectors to Corda blockchains, utilities, API orchestration, security/access control/monitoring/wallet components, and test suites. Additionally, BCS is working on an analytics platform that will enable the use of the data created by the blockchain for real-time intelligence and data discovery.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

BCS is blockchain-agnostic, with focused participation in R3 Corda. It also uses Quorum and Hyperledger Fabric, and has partnerships with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), DXC Technology, Arrow, and Microsoft, as well as with universities and academia.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Blockchain Zoo

https://blockchainzoo.com

Table 4.   Blockchain Zoo

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

Blockchain Zoo's engagement model begins with a two-day face-to-face Executive Discovery Workshop. This explores the potential businesswide transformational potential of blockchain, identifies areas of the organization that can get business value from migration to blockchain, and provides independent advice on the best technology for each use case. Further workshops turn identified use cases into architected blockchain solution white papers, which clients can implement either alone or with Blockchain Zoo's support. POC implementations either use Blockchain Zoo's own frameworks or focus on custom software solutions that combine technologies from multiple platforms to address the business value requirement of the client.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

Blockchain Zoo has developed an in-house approach, "Anything as Asset," which supports the creation of electronic assets for any product. This platform delivers user account management, tracking of clients and solutions for seamless value exchange, token issuance, and on-platform payment integration. Using this framework, it is creating solution-specific offerings for supply chain management, mobile payment solutions and trade finance, and is developing IoT-based solutions. For other solutions, it will advise on the right blockchain technology and create a custom solution, including the provision of infrastructure and security advice. It can also advise on the tracing of cryptocurrency transactions for law enforcement and other clients.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

Blockchain Zoo has expertise in a variety of blockchain technologies, including Nxt, H2, Ethereum, ERC20, Hashgraph and IOTA Tangle. It has partnerships with the World Blockchain Foundation, the Indonesian Blockchain Network, Bitcoin Indonesia and Asosiasi Blockchain Indonesia. It is a member of the Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Startups.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Capgemini

www.capgemini.com

Table 5.   Capgemini

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

Capgemini's approach is business-consulting-led, with a focus on defining and achieving business outcomes. Capgemini starts with an innovation assessment that defines both new commercial opportunities and revenue areas that may be threatened within the overall context of a client's full digital transformation strategy. These findings are further developed in an innovation workshop, bringing in possible ecosystem partners and leading to a roadmap. Capgemini focuses on overall integration strategy, with open APIs and backward/forward compatibility. Capgemini's focus is on highly complex environments with global footprints that create new revenue streams and business models for its clients.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

Capgemini focuses on blockchain as an enabler of the digital transformation journey for its clients. IP around digital transformation includes the Applied Innovation Exchange (AIE), a framework that allows clients to contextualize and experiment with emerging technologies. It also includes the Accelerated Solutions Environment (ASE), Capgemini's co-innovation workshop and lab capability. Capgemini is developing demos related to DLT in the AIE and methodologies for the ASE. Acquisitions of Backelite, a customer journey design company that can develop a user-friendly distributed platform, and Fahrenheit 212, which specializes in consulting on new business models, provide additional capabilities.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

Capgemini uses Corda and Fabric technologies primarily, as well as API-native architectures. Capgemini engages with or is a member of consortia, which include RiskBlock Alliance, R3, Hyperledger, and Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. Capgemini also chairs the advisory board for the Blockchain Research Institute.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Chainsmiths

https://chainsmiths.com

Table 6.   Chainsmiths

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

Chainsmiths is very specific, in that it engages with clients that are already familiar with blockchain to take clear blockchain use cases through to production-ready systems, and does not engage in blockchain ideation or POCs. Its consultancy service offering is focused specifically on long-term blockchain-related projects with such clients, and it actively turns down engagements that are only aiming for short-term POC creation. Chainsmiths provides executive awareness sessions, but does not perform ideation directly. Instead, it validates proposed use cases and advises on whether blockchain is suitable or whether alternative solutions may be more appropriate. Once a suitable use case and executive commitment are clear, Chainsmiths seeks to provide expert product-agnostic consultancy and technical services to develop scalable blockchain product architectures with an open and realistic assessment of the benefits and limitations of blockchain throughout each engagement.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

Gartner is not aware of any prebuilt blockchain solutions or framework.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

Chainsmiths consultants are drawn from multiple other blockchain startups, and work for both Chainsmiths and their own businesses.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Cognizant

www.cognizant.com

Table 7.   Cognizant

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

Cognizant provides strategic consulting on the route to blockchain adoption, focusing on executive advice, use-case assessment, POC creation and, where appropriate, subsequent rollout. Its structured engagement model links blockchain technology to business processes, helping clients select from competing blockchain platforms via technology assessments customized to a client's specific use case and needs. Once it has built a POC, it uses a "live minimum viable ecosystem" approach to identify the smallest market group required to move the POC into pilot and production.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

Cognizant has a library of existing accelerators and solution frameworks based on traditional centralized architectures that it is working to extend into decentralized solutions. Use cases it is developing include payment/settlement, digital identity processing and credential tracking, trade finance, supply chain tracking, 3D printing, collateral and asset management, mortgage life cycle management, and management of loyalty points. Cognizant's global digital Collaboratory workshop labs globally offer clients the opportunity to experience its solution offerings directly, enabling it to drive co-innovation with clients.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

Cognizant is a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, the Chamber of Digital Commerce and the Indian Insurance Forum. It also has partnerships with the R3 banking consortium (for Corda), and is in discussions to enter further consortia in the APAC region. It partners with MultiChain, Chain, BigchainDB and Microsoft Azure, and also has expertise in other blockchain technologies, including bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Corda, Monax and Quorum. It continues to build a network of blockchain startups with which it works on specific client projects.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

ConsenSys

https://new.consensys.net

Table 8.   ConsenSys

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

ConsenSys uses a consultancy team comprising staff drawn from backgrounds in the financial industry and other industry sectors, software engineering, cryptography, game theory, and blockchain thought leadership. It works with enterprises and government organizations through all phases of blockchain projects, including design thinking and ideation, business model assessment and analysis, technology strategy, solution architecture, implementation, deployment, operations, analytics, and ROI evaluation.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

In addition to services, ConsenSys has created a number of blockchain-specific products and tools, including:

  • Truffle, a market-leading smart-contract programming framework

  • Infura, a blockchain data service currently handling 6 billion API calls a day

  • MetaMask, a browser utility to enable users to access blockchain applications

  • BTC Relay, an interoperability mechanism between bitcoin and Ethereum

  • uPort, an emerging technology for blockchain-based identity

In addition, it has built over 30 blockchain products and completed more than 100 blockchain projects for clients,

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

ConsenSys is a primary driver behind Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, one of the largest consortia in the blockchain industry, and ConsenSys staff works closely with the Ethereum Foundation, which oversees Ethereum development. ConsenSys is the primary driver behind Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition, which aims to create blockchain solutions that address social and environmental challenges. ConsenSys works primarily with the Ethereum protocol family and in related technologies, such as geth, Parity and Quorum.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

EPAM

https://www.epam.com

Table 9.   EPAM

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

EPAM's approach for enterprise clients combines helping companies develop a strategy for blockchain use, validating any proposed initiatives and supporting them with technology and business consulting. The company's approach for a blockchain project looks both at the horizontal aspects of technology use plus the vertical-specific use cases and needs. Workshops and design thinking are applied as necessary in addition to consulting deliverables. The approach also helps determine the need for blockchain in the use case or whether other proven solutions will suffice. EPAM's personnel come from both a dedicated blockchain competency center and from other areas of consulting within the company.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

EPAM's offerings span business strategy and technology consulting, support for infrastructure services, and application services, including prototyping, piloting and implementation. The company has accelerators for integrating blockchain with external storage mechanisms on the cloud and for managing privacy with a zero knowledge mechanism. The company is planning to further invest in accelerators for security, scalability, privacy and also creating a service around how to roll out blockchain projects.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

EPAM has experience with Ethereum, bitcoin, Hyperledger Fabric, MultiChain and R3 Corda.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

EY

www.ey.com

Table 10.   EY

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

EY has three strands to its business model, with the first being to derive revenue from licensing blockchain software and from subscription-based services. It also provides consulting services to design and implement blockchain solutions for clients via a well-defined engagement model focusing on rapid delivery of a minimum viable product. In addition, it provides audit and tax services for companies involved in blockchain ecosystems, and it assures the correct operation of smart contracts.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

EY has developed IP related to blockchain called Ops Chain, a supply chain management ecosystem platform; Tesseract, a fractional asset ownership platform; and a maritime insurance service in partnership with A.P. Møller-Maersk. It also has Blockchain Analyser, an audit solution used to deliver audits to clients holding cryptocurrency assets and doing transactions in bitcoin, Ether and other digital currencies. EY has innovation centers with blockchain-specific demonstrations and labs in London, Munich, New York City, Paris, Rome, Seattle and Singapore. It operates offshore delivery centers in Trivandrum, India, and San Jose, Costa Rica.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

EY works with Hyperledger, Ethereum, Quorum, and Corda platforms on Azure, IBM Cloud and SAP Leonardo. EY is involved with the Energy Trading Working Group and a maritime insurance consortium.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Fintricity

www.fintricity.com

Table 11.   Fintricity

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

Fintricity focuses on developing innovation models that help clients find digital solutions to business problems. It works with business executives through innovation workshops to explore the impact of blockchain and related technologies on an enterprise. It uses its own business frameworks to help clients understand how decentralized models will work and how clients can reframe their own business operations to make money from these new models. It will then help build a high-level strategy, prioritize use cases and aim to deliver a POC using an agile eight-week development cycle to achieve a specific outcome.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

To build its blockchain-specific business models, Fintricity works mainly in open-source technologies and tools, such as Ethereum, Hyperledger, MetaMask, Truffle, geth, Java and JavaScript. Alongside this, it builds blockchain-specific protocols and infrastructure to accelerate its projects, and develops off-the-shelf solutions for specific vertical markets. It sees its use of agile methodologies for both business and technology delivery as essential to keep up with rapid market changes and quickly deliver value.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

Fintricity is working to build industry consortia in areas such as energy, real estate, oil and gas, gaming, metals, and commodities. It supports multiple blockchain technologies, including Ethereum, Hyperledger, Ocean Protocol and Bancor.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Fujitsu

www.fujitsu.com/global

Table 12.   Fujitsu

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

Fujitsu has a dedicated global team that works on business consulting for blockchain solutions and advises clients on the use of blockchain as part of the client's overall next-generation digital services. Fujitsu also has a specialist blockchain technical consulting capability that provides technical design and prototyping of Hyperledger Fabric and web application solutions and is readying to include similar capability for Ethereum-based blockchain solutions.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

Fujitsu has developed an enterprise blockchain-as-a-service capability that is currently deployed in Fujitsu K5 data centers around the world. The service implements Fujitsu IP for transaction security and performance built on top of the underlying Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 blockchain implementation. Fujitsu also has a set of ready-to-use APIs and functions — for example, smart wallets and graphical user management — as part of its enterprise blockchain as a service. Fujitsu recently developed a solution that provides for interconnectivity of different blockchains. It is building blockchain centers of excellence in U.K., Japan and Belgium.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

Fujitsu works primarily with Hyperledger, where it was a founding member of the open-source Hyperledger project and continues to be involved in driving a permissible distributed ledger solution through that consortium.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

GFT

www.gft.com

Table 13.   GFT

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

GFT provides end-to-end exploration of blockchain and DLT solutions to resolve business challenges and support the creation of POCs to test potential solutions, followed by upscaling to industrial application where appropriate. It provides process model design, commercial viability studies and lean technical design of blockchain solutions to meet business requirements. From this, it used UX storyboarding and agile development techniques to build solutions that demonstrate how DLT can disrupt a business model based on chosen use case. It can support further rollout with defined models for testing, deployment and integration.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

GFT has developed a proprietary methodology for creating blockchain applications, which it has used to create multiple blockchain assets to accelerate development, including:

  • Auth0, for authentication and asset ownership

  • RBS Emerald, a Google-based payment solution

  • Jupiter, providing secure worldwide commodity tracking

  • Advance invoice, to prevent fraud on invoices

  • GFT Coin, a cryptocurrency for charitable giving

  • AEGIS, a business brokerage framework for big data

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

GFT has blockchain partnerships with Google and Digital Asset, and is a partner of R3's Corda network, Alastria (aiming to develop blockchain services in Spain) and a confidential Italian organization. Blockchain technologies it supports include Ethereum, Corda, Hyperledger, Quorum and Digital Asset Platform.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

IBM

www.ibm.com

Table 14.   IBM

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

IBM provides a spectrum of blockchain consulting capability, from design services, innovation consulting and supply/value chain ecosystem consulting, through to implementation of its agile blockchain solutions on IBM cloud. It collaborates with clients and their business network participants to address significant business ecosystem opportunities or challenges, bringing the business value of blockchain technologies, design thinking practices and agile execution. Additionally, IBM brings its teams/capabilities from IoT, cognitive and advanced analytics, digital, integration, and automation to address opportunities related to how these technologies enhance blockchain services.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

IBM's blockchain consultancy seeks to bring business value to clients through the delivery of end-to-end blockchain offerings, from business and solution design, to solution development, implementation and ongoing delivery. Its blockchain services and platform teams bring vertical focus to client challenges to deliver business and technical outcomes. IBM's blockchain platform allows multiple parties to jointly develop, govern, operate and secure blockchain networks to help enterprises accelerate blockchain adoption. IBM focuses on solutions for supply chain, trade and finance, and has developed solutions for food provenance, global trade finance and a joint venture with A.P. Møller-Maersk aiming to digitize global trade.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

IBM participates and builds on Hyperledger technology, including the Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 framework and Hyperledger Composer blockchain tool. For various engagements, IBM partners with other organizations for added capabilities, including Axoni, Stellar, KlickEx Group and Tsinghua University, among others. IBM is a founding member of the Hyperledger and is part of multiple other consortia, including the IBM Food Trust network, we.trade and Batavia.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Infosys

www.infosys.com

Table 15.   Infosys

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

Infosys provides blockchain services through a dedicated service line, which provides research into blockchain and enterprise blockchain services, and delivers industry-specific solutions using its accelerators. It adopts a collaborative approach with clients and their value networks to partner with them to accelerate value creation, achieve interoperability and enable a trusted ecosystem. It will begin a typical engagement by exploring the benefits (and risks) of blockchain, followed by a design thinking workshop with an interdisciplinary group of client stakeholders to identify relevant problem statements for which it will propose POC and pilot engagements.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

Infosys has adapted the bitcoin codebase to create the EdgeVerve Blockchain Framework, a permissioned platform enabling rapid deployment of use cases in financial services. It is piloting in areas of trade finance and remittances, and reports will go live in 2018. Its other accelerators include business apps for private networks in supply chain provenance, a framework for assessing blockchain use cases using Design Thinking methodology, a platform-agnostic framework that facilitates rapid POC creation, and a peer-to-peer testing framework. To showcase these capabilities, it is continuing to invest in its Innovation Lab and education centers globally.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

Infosys is a member of blockchain panels, including the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, the Dubai Blockchain Council and advisory boards to several financial regulators. It has blockchain partnerships with IBM, Microsoft and Oracle, and undertaken blockchain research with several British universities. As well as the EdgeVerve Blockchain Framework, it also has skills in Hyperledger, Ethereum, Corda, MultiChain and Ripple.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

KPMG

https://home.kpmg.com

Table 16.   KPMG

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

KPMG has an end-to-end blockchain professional services practice. Roughly 25% of its methodology effort is dedicated to the business consulting around strategic prioritization, use cases, modeling, education, operating model and ecosystem design. The remainder is focused on prototyping, requirements, pilot testing, governance, integration and production. It also offers additional services around auditing, testing and ICOs. KPMG's focus is on the fit of blockchain with other emerging technologies and business enablers as a driver of digital transformation.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

KPMG has blockchain-specific IP across a number of industries, which includes architecture requirements, user interface demos and prototypes, as well as a DLT-based fund platform for its securities practice. KPMG acquired Lighthouse, an emerging technology technical specialist group, including a Centre of Excellence innovation hub. KPMG has developed proprietary blockchain frameworks, including KPMG's Digital Ledger Services, to optimize the use of blockchain technologies. It has also established a blockchain maturity model to help clients determine risks associated with blockchain implementations.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

KPMG is purposefully technology-agnostic, focused on solution fit for the client's environment. KPMG works with a number of consortia and workgroups to help drive technology and use cases from concept to launch, among which are R3 and the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance. It has alliances with IBM, Microsoft, R3CEV, DPactum, BlockEx, Cegeka, BluZelle, InTech, ConsenSys, Applied Blockchain, SETL, Finboot and other blockchain technologies.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

LTI

www.lntinfotech.com

Table 17.   LTI

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

LTI adopts a strategic approach to any blockchain engagement. It utilizes design thinking workshops to identify potential uses cases and works to build buy-in from all stakeholders before moving to POC. It builds every POC with the potential to scale and support further builds, while managing the risk of major changes occurring to the underlying blockchain platform. It recommends the most suitable blockchain technology stack based on business requirements, privacy and scalability needs. It works with clients to realize the potential benefits of blockchain by aiming for a scalable implementation, with a clear roadmap and incentive for adoption by wider participants in the ecosystem.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

LTI uses its Accelerator Programs to provide a startup-like approach to quickly identify and assess potential use cases through its Blockchain Fitment Assessment Model. This helps clients make strategic go/no-go decisions for projects by focusing on ROI, time to market and scalability. It uses an agile approach for rapid prototyping of POCs, and it has a number of blockchain-ready mobile application modules and web-based templates to speed up deployment. It can support the integration of solutions to enable subsequent rollout. It actively scans blockchain startups for potential acquisitions to build its capability.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

LTI is a member of the Microsoft Blockchain Partner Council, providing early access to new Microsoft developments, and is also partnering with IBM for blockchain. It has been collaborating with BankChain, a consortium of 30 financial services companies, will join the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance in 2018 and has relationships with a number of Indian universities researching blockchain. LTI develops on Ethereum, Hyperledger (both Fabric and Lake) and Stellar using a variety of open-source tools.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Luxoft

www.luxoft.com

Table 18.   Luxoft

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

Working with business stakeholders, Luxoft focuses on making blockchain easy to understand, adopt and execute, while delivering business value, through a three-phase engagement model:

  • Incubation, which evaluates the client's existing landscape and objectives, and using design thinking to help clients envisage new business processes and prepare for the required business change.

  • Innovation, where the experimentation phase is accelerated by leveraging DevOps to rapidly formulate and deploy various technology stack options, taking account of scalability, privacy, security and integration needs.

  • Integration, which takes a POC forward to implementation, using Luxoft's delivery model to integrate, deploy and scale the solution.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

To reduce solution delivery time, Luxoft has built a blockchain connector on the Pegasystems' Pega Platform, which also serves as a blueprint for other business process management platforms, and has developed an accelerator to provide traceability and decentralized identity management. Its blockchain lab provides a co-innovation environment, while it sees its embedded processes for agile development and DevOps as critical to launch, develop and monitor various blockchain platforms across cloud environments where the rate of change is high.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

Luxoft is a founding member of the Crypto Valley Association, which supports the development of blockchain services in Switzerland and globally, and is in the process of joining the Trusted IoT Alliance. Luxoft has partnerships with Chain, R3, Evernym, Monax, Consult Hyperion and Amazon Web Services (AWS), and it supports technologies such as Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Corda, Ripple, Chain, IOTA and Sovrin Foundation.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

NTT DATA

www.nttdata.com

Table 19.   NTT DATA

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

NTT DATA uses a consulting-led approach to blockchain, focused on working with clients to understand business opportunities related to the technology, creating a roadmap and performing a feasibility study. Understanding the impacts of regulatory requirements, legislation and competitive scenarios for the industry are core drivers for NTT DATA's solutions. NTT DATA offers blockchain as a service on either Hyperledger or Ethereum, and via public and private clouds. Implementation of blockchain solutions after POCs and pilots is via existing systems as a new optional channel and then moves on to full-scale deployment and real-time integration.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

NTT DATA focuses on building specific blockchain IP, including its blockchain demo lab, to explain blockchain in a tangible way to clients. Its other vertical-specific IP includes a distributed call auction system for trading unlisted securities, a solution for letters of credit trade, a reward point payment solution, a prescription record database and, in manufacturing, the 4Trace Supplychain platform to provide notarization of events. It also has built a cryptocurrency wallet, an API-based blockchain node architecture and its open innovation platform, everis NEXT, to facilitate cooperation between enterprises and startups. It uses its Blockchain Observatory to identify disruptive trends and provides advice on regulatory changes. The company leverages Collaboration Centers in the U.S. and Germany, plus industry-specific centers in Japan, where clients can test and build blockchain applications via NTT DATA's agile application development platform, ALTEMISTA Cloud and its rapid prototyping service, The Garage.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

NTT DATA has partnered with Skuchain to develop an integrated blockchain and IoT platform for supply chain data availability, solutions for manual processes and improved coordination to reduce costs. NTT DATA is a founding member of both Hyperledger and Alastria (Lyra), is also a member of Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, and has a partnership with R3. NTT DATA supports Hyperledger Fabric v1.0, Corda 2.0, Ethereum, bitcoin, IOTA, Quorum and Ripple.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

PwC

www.pwc.com

Table 20.   PwC

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

PwC categorizes its blockchain engagement in three stages — Discovery, Strategy and Delivery, leveraging its "BXT" approach at every stage to solve problems with a combination of business, experience and technology. At the Discovery stage, PwC conducts design thinking workshops to explore solutions to a client's current business problems and to determine whether a blockchain solution is suitable for the use case in question. In the Strategy stage, PwC performs a deeper dive assessment of operation and IT models, and of the client's external landscape to determine the best uses of blockchain. The delivery stage is the build of the blockchain solution and typically starts with a POC, which evolves via an agile approach, to become the finished blockchain solution. PwC also provides commercial assessments and models for the client in regard to capabilities created via blockchain.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

PwC has a variety of frameworks across verticals throughout typical blockchain engagements, including its Risk and Controls Framework and Blockchain Assurance solution. It also utilizes its six-point criteria to determine whether blockchain is the right solution for the business problem and its blockchain vendor selection framework. PwC has designed the Blockchain Experience approach to help clients understand what blockchain is and how it will affect their business. Cross-industry PwC supply chain blockchain solutions are focused on the tracking and traceability of products. PwC has dedicated blockchain labs in the Netherlands, the U.K., India, China, Hong Kong and Argentina.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

PwC's partnerships/consortia involvement include BitSE, a strategic alliance with PwC China; Blockstream, a lab investigation into connectivity between different chains; and Libra, reporting and integration software for blockchain. It is a member of the Hyperledger, will join the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance in 2018, and collaborates with Microsoft, AWS, HPE, Coin Sciences and Vulcan Digital Asset Services. Technologies supported by PwC include MultiChain, Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum, Corda, IPFS, BigchainDB, Ripple and open chain.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Synechron

www.synechron.com

Table 21.   Synechron

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

Synechron primarily serves clients in capital markets and banking, and it combines business expertise and technology services. The company approach starts with validation of the use case for its clients, adjusting as necessary and helping them develop a roadmap for the initiative. Initial efforts tend to have POCs or other experimentation, and the company uses an agile approach for this work. The company provides technology services to help the clients go beyond POCs as needed.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

Blockchain services span business and technology consulting, application and infrastructure services. Synechron has six blockchain accelerators in financial services that cover trade finance, margin calls, insurance claims, mortgage financing, know your client (KYC) and global payments. These provide out-of-box modules for clients to get started. Further, the company provides developer and other tools to support them. This includes a tool to browse data on a blockchain, as well as a configuration tool for Quorum.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

Synechron works with R3 and Enterprise Ethereum Alliance on financial services solutions. The technologies it supports include Ethereum, Quorum, R3 Corda, Hyperledger Fabric, Ripple, Microsoft developer tools and frameworks (such as Coco), Azure and AWS Cloud.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

www.tcs.com

Table 22.   TCS

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

TCS aims to provide strategic partnership, helping clients see the blockchain opportunity in their business, and adapt for deployment and transformation. Its business value delivery model seeks to immerse participants in blockchain possibilities and devise a strategic approach to innovation while developing strategies to curate an ecosystem that will adopt the resultant solution. It supports POC creation on its own and other platforms, and can provide implementation and change management support to rollouts.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

TCS has specific frameworks to evaluate blockchain use cases and to assist in platform selection. Its key platform solutions include Quartz for financial services and its digital identity platform. Others under development include its digital monetization platform and tools for supply chain, digital rights management, loyalty management and audit tracking, as well as accelerators to speed up development and integration. It drives innovation through an Innovation Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., a blockchain center in Kochi, India, and its Digital Reimagination Studio in Santa Clara, California, U.S.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

TCS partners with IBM, Monax, Microsoft Azure, BigchainDB, Intel, ConsenSys, Enigma, ENT Technologies and others. During 2018, it expects to become a member of multiple consortia, including Hyperledger, Decentralized Identity Foundation, Trusted IoT Alliance, and Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts. In addition to its own solutions, TCS supports blockchain technologies, such as Hyperledger Fabric, Guardtime, Corda, Ethereum, Ethermint, Monax, BigchainDB and IPFS.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Tech Mahindra

www.techmahindra.com

Table 23.   Tech Mahindra

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

Tech Mahindra seeks to deliver an end-to-end blockchain-led transformation engagement that radically changes the operating model of the business function in question. Using a consulting-led approach, it provides education, value discovery workshops, use-case prioritization, business case definition and agile POC build. It will help establish a blockchain implementation office and blueprint a scalable production environment, where it seeks to deploy successful pilots. For full implementations, it works with clients to co-innovate and embed the blockchain solution into new business processes.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

Tech Mahindra uses a blockchain-specific engagement framework i3 (implantation, integration and Infrastructure), which enables it to accelerate clients' projects. It uses its rapid deployment model to quickly prototype and deploy POCs using prebuilt technology components and templates, while managing security and privacy issues. To drive innovation, it conducts hackathons on client premises, helping clients identify talent and build a blockchain center of excellence, and uses its Makers Labs in India and U.K. to rapidly prototype use cases. It is investing in blockchain solutions for consent management, supply chain management, trade finance, digital identity management and authentication.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

Tech Mahindra has partnerships with IBM, Microsoft, ChromaWay and Multichain, and is part of the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology. It works with a range of blockchain startups, some of which it is evaluating as possible acquisitions. It develops on multiple platforms, including Hyperledger, Ethereum, Corda, Postchain, Multichain, Lake and SAP Leonardo.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Virtusa

www.virtusa.com

Table 24.   Virtusa

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

As an ideal engagement, Virtusa seeks blockchain use cases resulting in new or greatly enhanced client business models, where it can build reusable assets in a long-term engagement. Engagements start with a week-long hothouse between Virtusa's enterprise architects and the client management team to understand the business problem. Virtusa then validates blockchain as the technology choice by evaluating the benefits of potential use cases against blockchain's capabilities before moving into a project execution phase to create a POC.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

Virtusa has prebuilt blockchain accelerators for derivative trading, digital identity, cross-border payments, post-trade settlement, auto loan lending and others, as well as a proprietary solution for managing data privacy. Virtusa is continuing to invest in building industry-specific solutions, including a media analytics shared platform and a platform for managing the supply chain of drugs in healthcare. In the finance sector, it has built automation of back-office validation, and a universal KYC solution. It showcases solutions in its blockchain client experience centers in Hyderabad, London and the U.S.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

Virtusa has partnerships with a number of blockchain providers, including Chain, Token, ChromaWay and SIGNiX, as well as various confidential relationships. It is a member of the International Organization for Standardization working group on blockchain and DLTs (TC307). While Virtusa is platform-agnostic, it has specific skills in Ethereum, Quorum, Corda, Chain and Hyperledger Fabric.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Wipro

www.wipro.com

Table 25.   Wipro

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

Wipro tailors its engagement approach to the current stage of blockchain maturity at the client. Its offerings span the entire life cycle and involve strategic advisory services, business consulting, industry solutions, ideation, workshops and co-creation, leading up to technology delivery of blockchain solutions. It works with clients to drive transformation through strategic advisory-led engagements that help build an ecosystem of all partners and participants in the blockchain network, resulting in a successful enterprise-grade blockchain solution.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

Blockchain services span strategy consulting, ecosystem services, business and technology consulting, application and infrastructure services, and cover business, technology and industry. In business, it includes a framework to cover use-case assessments, business case developments, ROI calculations and prioritization. Technology assets include Wipro's blockchain lab, scalability tool and identity frameworks. Industry solutions are in peer-to-peer energy trading, trade finance, remittance, loyalty, anti-counterfeit, payments and securities settlements.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

Wipro is a member of industry consortia and groups, such as the Hyperledger Foundation, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, ASSOCHAM and Energy Web Foundation. It also works with B3i, NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association and the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance. It has partnerships with Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAP and emerging vendors, such as ConsenSys and R3. Technologies it supports include Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum, Quorum, Corda and MultiChain.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Zensar

www.zensar.com

Table 26.   Zensar

Key Factors

Comments

Engagement Approach

Zensar calls its engagement approach a "4D" framework — to Discover, Define, Design and Deliver. The Discover phase aims to create stakeholder alignment to support blockchain adoption, using workshops to explain blockchain and identify suitable use cases. The Define phase includes business consulting around business drivers and expected outcomes for the intended blockchain solution. Design focuses on providing a technology template and using IP and accelerators to develop and implement the blockchain network. Deliver includes validation of outcomes and future roadmap definition.

Blockchain-Specific Offerings

Zensar's ZenSmartBlox is a framework for delivering custom blockchain offerings that integrates with multiple blockchain platforms. Zensar has used it to create solutions for trade finance, property due diligence, organ registry, medical bills reconciliation and for resident mobile application within manufacturing. ZenSmartBlox's integration framework also allows interconnection of blockchain data with existing systems. Zensar has a blockchain feasibility evaluation engine to analyze a given business case and report the viability and practicality of a blockchain solution for that use case.

Partnerships, Consortia and Technologies Supported

Zensar's ZenSmartBlox framework currently integrates with Hyperledger 1.0 and Ethereum. For building solutions, Zensar uses Node.js, Angular, Hibernate, IPFS, Go, Solidity, Chaincode, Spring MVC and Spring Security API. Zensar is not heavily involved in consortia, because it focuses on the private blockchain space.

Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Market Recommendations

Sourcing and vendor management leaders seeking to prepare and plan for blockchain initiatives should:

  • Recognize that blockchain is an emerging technology that has the potential to transform business operations in a similar way to the introduction of the internet, and the organization requires a strategic plan of response. Evaluate the use of consultancies to explore the disruptive potential of blockchain by engaging them both for strategic advice and for technical POC creation. Make stakeholders aware that engaging a blockchain consultancy services provider is only one of several ways of developing blockchain knowledge. Communicate the value of attending workshops, joining blockchain consortia or joining a third-party blockchain POC.

  • Analyze the type of consultancy service required by evaluating the maturity of the organization's digital adoption and its blockchain knowledge, and finding a consultancy service provider whose focus is similar. Utilize business consulting firms for strategic analysis and advice, specialist blockchain consultancies for depth of blockchain-specific skills, and TSPs for integration and implementation skills, as required by each project.

  • Plan to use multiple consultancies at different stages of a blockchain project by recognizing that no one consultancy service provider is a specialist in every stage of the life cycle. Manage the risk that will occur as the blockchain consultancy market evolves rapidly over the next five years by writing short-term contracts with clear ownership of deliverables and code, and strong intellectual property rights. Consider outcome-based contracts for blockchain consulting projects, so that the consultancy service provider bears part of the risk for meeting those outcomes.

  • Develop stakeholder understanding that blockchain POCs are a key way to build internal understanding and required capabilities in this radical new technology, but that most POCs will not proceed to production status. Manage risk in an individual POC by keeping the investment limited and the scope narrow. Set the expectation that the outcome will be increased skills and knowledge transfer of the potential benefits and limitations of blockchain.

  • Select consultancies based on a combination of blockchain-specific skills, commercial business acumen and vertical knowledge by evaluating providers on the basis of:

    • Referenceable experience of blockchain projects

    • Demonstrable skills with multiple blockchain platforms

    • Understanding of the technical, commercial and regulatory issues with blockchain rollouts

    • Credibility and ability to influence senior stakeholders

    • Industry references in the same vertical as your organization

    • Demonstrable experience with outcome-based agreements and linking fees to outcomes

  • Build awareness that blockchain is a highly immature technology in the early stages of discovery and experimentation that will take several years to stabilize. If the organization is risk-averse, and prefers to wait and examine the technology as it evolves, monitor the development of blockchain technologies and the results of others POCs and pilots to understand progress.

Evidence

1 Data taken from an analysis of all searches carried out on Gartner's website during the calendar year 2017.

2 Examples of each of these three types of business change can be found in "The Disruptive Potential of Blockchain Technology."

3 Data taken from Table 1 in "Forecast: Blockchain Business Value, Worldwide, 2017-2030."

4 Gartner has seen salaries for blockchain developers starting at $130,000 a year or $160,000 a year in locations such as Silicon Valley, but they can range much higher than this — for example, see "Blockchain Salaries Go Parabolic: 'You Can Make a Fortune,'" Financial News.

5 Examples of issues taken from "Top 10 Mistakes in Enterprise Blockchain Projects."

6 The relative success of specialist consultancies in bringing solutions into production is based on Gartner's interactions with providers, buyers, product vendors and blockchain platform providers over the last 12 months. These generally report greater success in smaller providers in delivering production solutions.

7 Several organizations are in the process of developing blockchain-based platforms designed to share skills, including Proffer and Vanywhere.

8 Gartner gathered data on 398 blockchain consultancy engagements from 25 providers in January 2018. Just 14 of these engagements were classified by the reporting provider as at a status of "live in production." For further details on this survey, see "Blockchain Trials Across Industries Show the Pulse of a Rapidly Moving Professional Services Market."

Note 1
Representative Vendor Selection

Vendors included in this research represent a broad sample of the providers that provide many or all of the blockchain consultancy services described in this research. They were selected to provide representatives of the three types of provider analyzed in the Market Analysis section, and they have all evidenced a range of blockchain consultancy and technical engagements with clients. Providers were identified by analyst interactions in the market, as well as through external research of publications and other public sources.

Note 2
Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Definition

A blockchain or distributed ledger is an expanding list of cryptographically signed, irrevocable transactional records shared by all participants in a network. Each record contains a time stamp and reference links to previous transactions. With this information, anyone with access rights can trace back a transactional event, at any point in its history, belonging to any participant. A public blockchain or distributed ledger provides open participation to anyone or any entity where access is not controlled by a central intermediary or a subset of participants. A private blockchain or distributed ledger is one in which participation is restricted by governance rules, or managed by a central entity or a subset of participants.

Note 3
POC and Pilot Definition

In this research, we distinguish between POCs and pilots as different stages in the initiative life cycle shown in Figure 1, as follows:

  • A POC is a minimum viable solution for a given use case, which is developed on a blockchain platform in isolation from other processes and systems. It will be tested only at a high level to establish the viability of blockchain for the use case and to determine whether it is worth evolving the POC solution into a wider pilot.

  • A pilot is a project phase in which a POC solution is industrialized and integrated with other solutions. It will be tested in a limited business environment to establish its viability in a productionlike usage, but without full production volumes. It will be tested by business users to determine whether its value justifies its wider rollout and full production use.

Note 4
Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

ICOs are forms of crowdsales for raising funds by startup ventures that use a blockchain-based value token often layered on top of a metacoin platform, such as Ethereum. The token does not convey ownership in the company (which may be a nonprofit organization), but can convey certain voting rights, depending on the scheme. The tokens sold through ICOs are not regulated today as securities by an entity such as U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.