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Six tips for companies using blockchain to implement cloud

According to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, blockchain technologies now have a significant role to play in developing economic and employment opportunities across industries. In fact, blockchain has the opportunity to redefine the way businesses trade, while fundamentally altering what we expect from both supply chains and retailers.

While it is estimated that blockchain technology could be adopted for use by as many as half of all companies within the next three years, governments too are looking to integrate this innovation into their operations. This includes the Australian Government, which within the 2020 National Blockchain Roadmap set out a plan to boost Australia’s rapidly growing blockchain industry, outlining its expectation that blockchain technology would generate more than $3 trillion in global trade value in less than a decade. 

Building a successful blockchain strategy with cloud

All blockchain approaches need the right infrastructure, and many ‘core’ blockchain applications and businesses, from decentralised apps (dApps), exchanges (Dexs) or finance (DeFi) are already built in a cloud native way. The blockchain industry has grown rapidly, and cloud’s stability, scalability and OpEx finance strategy has been an important part of enabling this. 

However, as traditional (‘non-blockchain-native’) organisations explore how blockchain can empower their business, the need for an effective approach to cloud infrastructure becomes more and more important. For example, as well as simply ‘getting the job done’, understanding the different products within the cloud industry will help organisations keep their management overheads low, without compromising on efficiency, scalability, flexibility, or security.

Choosing a cloud provider 

Blockchain and cloud may well be an ideal match, but the combination of both technologies in an integrated and efficient way requires careful selection and planning with a trusted cloud provider, establishing a strong partnership to stay ahead of any challenges. 

We have listed six tips on what Australian businesses should look for in cloud service providers:: 

Hybrid/multi-cloud strategy enablement: Look for interoperable solutions that enable you to interconnect different products and services, including the ability to connect to solutions from other providers, as well as any on-premise or colocation setup. Why? Interoperable networking solutions open the door to higher decentralisation of blockchain networks as well as robust disaster recovery options. 

Compliance measures: Look for a contractual commitment to broad data protection regulations, as well as sectoral compliance that meets the requirements of specific industries. Why? Regulations surrounding blockchain are likely to arise and you may require industry-specific compliance certification in future depending on your sector.

Transparency in pricing: Look for price transparency and monthly contracts with no vendor lock-in. Furthermore, complex agreements often have hidden costs, resulting in unpleasant surprises at the end of the billing period. 

Openness and reversibility: Look for a choice of cloud products that embrace open-source values. Why? This is crucial for multi cloud strategies, as well as decreasing business risk and staying interoperable.

Security, scalability: Look for robust security solutions and tools, such as Anti-DdoS protection included as standard, and – depending on organisational requirements – hardware encryption solutions such as Intel Software Guard Extension (SGX). Companies working in blockchain often deal with security threats or sensitive data which requires robust security solutions.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs): Look for the right Service Level Agreement (SLA) that works for your organisational needs. SLAs provide businesses with a guarantee on uptime, and providers must compensate a customer for any downtime that occurs beyond the SLA agreement. 

Managing the process of adopting blockchain technology into an organisation’s tech ecosystem is a complex operation.

However, with the right planning and the right partner, blockchain technology and cloud have the ability to fundamentally ease and improve how the business operates. The first step is understanding the technology foundations, ensuring the scope of needed compliance, security and making sure that the fundamental cloud products powering the technology itself is going to be fit for its role. Once this is in place, technology leaders can develop and improve the blockchain operations within the business, driving innovation and taking the next steps in their evolution. 

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