- The global blockchain services market is expected to grow at an 80% CAGR and reach $8.1 billion in 2021, according to a recent IDC forecast. Blockchain services will consolidate into three areas: project oriented services, such as consulting services and system integration; outsourced services; and support and training services.
- In the short-term, blockchain services and the associated actors will play an important role establishing standards and protocols as well as building up the technology as a "trust and scale" alternative to existing database applications, said Michael Versace, IDC research director, in the statement. In the long-term, blockchain services can "become foundational to a new generation of enterprise IT infrastructure," expanding the blockchain market to hundreds of billions of dollars.
- As the technology finds a home in more business functions, it has several challenges to overcome. Blockchain implementers have to manage or work around high latency, high cost to compute and extremely limited storage, reports TechCrunch.
Blockchain services are the biggest segment of the market as a result of the technology's specialized skill demands, maturity and hype, according to the report. But the enterprise is still quite far from a Blockchain as a Service reality.
The demand for blockchain professionals has been skyrocketing, with related job openings shooting up 200% in the course of a year alone. IDC predicts that the number of consultants and developers working in the blockchain services market alone will grow tenfold by 2021.
But a dearth of experts is only one struggle blockchain technology is facing in its crusade to become a mainstream part of enterprise technology.
The high cost and intricacy of installing a new blockchain platform is a major barrier for the average company with tight budgets and a limited staff. Businesses are already taxed with meeting basic demands of digital transformation. And prioritizing blockchain over other lucrative technologies, such as Big Data, could prove difficult to justify to the C-suite.
But blockchain can be a valuable business investment for many organizations. The struggle for CIOs is figuring out if the technology offers something they truly cannot get with technologies they already have, as well as if the cost of an earlier investment is worth the tradeoff of waiting until the market is more fully developed.