Looks like another Big Four firm is getting in on the Blockchain boom. In this version of Blockchain talk, we see that Accenture is touting its investment in Blockchain technology. Although they mention that they aren’t talking about cryptos, there is mention of an investment in Ripple and partaking in the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.
Accenture 4/30/2018 Investor Day
Melanie Cultan, Blockchain Director
I am immersed in blockchain day-in and day-out. And my role is to help our clients understand how blockchain will change their business models, how it will help them plan for and manage the transformations that they need to undertake.
I’ll start by talking about blockchain and what it is, but first, let me just clarify: We’re not talking about cryptocurrencies, but the underlying technology itself, which is blockchain. And blockchain is more generally known as a distributed ledger technology. It is a profoundly disruptive technology, and it’s the foundation on which the next-generation of business applications will be built.
At its most basic level, blockchain is a new database architecture. It maintains and records data in a way that allows multiple stakeholders to confidently and securely share access to the same data and information. It massively simplifies today’s complicated, costly and vulnerable systems. In 2018, blockchain is just beginning to hit its pivot, moving from proof-of-concepts to early stages of production in client projects. And we at Accenture are ahead of the curve, and well-positioned to take even more than our share of the growth as the market matures.
Like the Internet, blockchain will reshape businesses and likely disrupt entire industries as it takes hold. Today, blockchain is roughly where the Internet was in the mid-1990s. It’s difficult to estimate an early-stage market like blockchain, but our best view is that the services market is growing at a CAGR of over 71%, and will reach $11 billion by 2022. And these estimates are continually revised upwards, so you get a sense of the growth in this market.
Blockchain will add powerful new capabilities to nearly every industry, from financial services to health to transportation and logistics and beyond. It will make managing our health and wellbeing easier across payers and providers. Blockchain will add greater transparency, efficiency and auditability across supply chain ecosystems.
So that’s what blockchain is. So, how is Accenture going to win in the market? Well, we have three things, as you’d expect, where we think we’re differentiated in the market and uniquely positioned to lead in blockchain. First, we’re shaping the market. We’ve been involved with blockchain since the beginning, and we’re continuously introducing new innovations that are shaping this market. Using the Innovation Architecture that Paul talked about, we’re creating and developing and scaling new innovations and inventions that’ll disrupt and define this market, including introducing 35 new patents in blockchain, and through our Accenture
Ventures, placing early minority investments in emerging players like Digital Asset and Ripple.
Second, we are leveraging the independent technology and our leadership position in the ecosystem. We’re the only ones with that independent perspective, the relationships and the scale to combine the latest thinking, the right technologies and the right partners to really develop cutting-edge solutions with our clients.
Third, we have unparalleled industry expertise, and a breadth of capabilities. Blockchain is about reinventing industries, and you need industry experience to do that. So, we are the only ones that have that industry experience, the deep knowledge of our clients’ businesses, and the ability to manage blockchain operations.
We’re well-positioned in this new and emerging area to establish a leadership position, and we’re ready to bring the breadth and power of Accenture together for our clients to bring those end-to-end services that our clients need to implement blockchain across the entire enterprise. And that’s required to unlock its full potential.
David Treat, Blockchain Lead
Thanks, Melanie. In my role in leading Accenture’s Blockchain business globally, I’ve been working with other innovators and leaders from the very beginning to shape this market. As Paul mentioned, one of our first steps was to set Accenture in the position of being a founding member of the Linux Hyperledger project, and later the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, as two of the key technical consortium driving blockchain technology forward.
As Melanie talked about our innovations and our investments in this space, I want to talk about how now we’re going to turn that innovation into results and revenue for Accenture. Let me start by saying there’s a ton of noise and hype in this space, with daily press releases about what’s going on. The opportunities for blockchain are vast, but in reality we’re just at the beginning of what will be a large-scale transformation of how business ecosystems work, enabled by blockchain in combination with other technologies.
I’m going to go back to three. So, we are strategically focused on three key areas where we see immediate opportunity and the most value in the near-term. We’re going to use these three areas as a stronghold from which then we’re going to expand our business. So, those three areas are: Financial Services Infrastructure; Supply Chain; and Identity. Let me walk through each one of those.
So, in Financial Services Infrastructure, we’re focused on capital markets, payments and insurance, where each day, trillions of dollars’ worth of transactions take place across the globe. And while the products, the financial instruments, have gotten much more sophisticated, the way we settle them hasn’t, hasn’t really changed; we still have to message information back and forth, reconcile and confirm to be able to complete any transaction.
And it’s that change that is so central to what blockchain is. A great example of this is work that we’re doing with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and The Association of Banks in Singapore to help in their journey to modernize the Singapore Financial Center. Let’s roll a quick video to see the opportunity here.
This was an amazing experience and a great piece of work. One of the takeaways from it is that, collaboration across an ecosystem, including regulators, banks and other participants is key to what blockchain is all about, and it’s happening now.
Our second area of focus is supply chain in all forms, physical and digital. We made a recent announcement with AB InBev, Accenture, and several other organizations, a consortium that has successfully tested a blockchain prototype that can eliminate the need for printed shipping documents, and save the freight and logistics industry hundreds of millions of dollars, annually.
Our third area of focus is digital identity. We are very proud to have been the founding member of a ground-breaking public/private partnership called ID2020. In this organization now with us are various United Nations NGOs, as well as key partners like Microsoft, where we together are focused on: how do we deliver effective digital identity to the more than 1 billion people in this world who don’t have any, and who are effectively, therefore, excluded from modern society.
This will be a life-changing step forward. We’re taking those capabilities and we’re also applying it with our client base to focus on Anti-Money Laundering, Know Your Customer, GDPR, right to be forgotten regulations, and issues associated with identity theft, tax fraud, and traditional client relationship management challenges.
So, in summary, we believe that we are very well-positioned to capitalize on the next New in blockchain. We’re shaping the market, we’re focused on key areas that will drive revenue and most importantly, blockchain is all about what Accenture does best, it requires the combination of deep industry technology and ecosystem capabilities to do it right. I have an amazing team. We’re fired up to be the best in the next New.