Everyone loves making year-end predictions, and this one was a popular pick from last year: blockchain would disrupt everything in 2017, including integration. Those making that claim are right on the money. Blockchain—a shared, immutable ledger for recording the history of transactions—needs the most secure integration right now. Here’s why.
Blockchain to serve customers quickly and securely
One example on how blockchain can improve the customer experience comes from InfoQ. In many European countries, when a customer’s flight is delayed or cancelled, the airline must give a specific amount of compensation. The crux is that airlines don’t have to automatically dole out the funds. Customers must claim it, often with an attorney’s help.
With blockchain, however, a smart contract could eliminate this time-consuming, lawyer-driven process. In fact, smart contracts have long been touted as a replacement for lawyers. As described on Blockgeeks, “smart contracts help you exchange money, property, shares, or anything of value in a transparent, conflict-free way, while avoiding the services of a middleman.” From a technical perspective, this works because blockchain enables automation of business processes that transcend organizational boundaries in a secure and decentralized manner.
Why blockchain needs integration
To make the blockchain revolution happen quickly, companies won’t be building their own blockchain infrastructure. They will leverage cloud services. When blockchain infrastructure is its own peer-to-peer network, every company must be a part of it, and integration is essential for service and governance requirements. Integration also ensures that blockchain will work with your applications on private or public clouds.
Another reason that integration is becoming so important to blockchain is because blockchain has no central database. Yet new events with technical and business information are created constantly. These events must be analyzed and acted upon quickly. Integration makes this possible. Furthermore, you’ll need to be able to visualize these events and even interact with data from other, non-blockchain systems. We’re even seeing the advent of blockchain IoT. But how do you connect to those other non-blockchain systems?
Unveiling new integration capabilities for blockchain
IBM Integration is a part of this movement of when integration meets blockchain. Most recently, IBM announced a blockchain connector for the MQ product for z/OS. New blockchain connectivity provides the ability to perform a message-driven query into the IBM Blockchain for Bluemix service to gain insight into activity within the blockchain.
To see all the new integration capabilities, head here.
This is just a sample of things to come this year. When 2017 ends, no one will predict that 2018 will be the year blockchain meets integration because that unification is already here.