Analyst: IBM frontrunner in Blockchain-as-a-Service space

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In a competitive assessment, analyst firm ABI Research said it has found that IBM and Microsoft are the clear leaders in industrial blockchain-as-a-service offerings.

Image credit: IBM.com

Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) is a type of cloud-based solution for the development of blockchain applications. BaaS serves as a launchpad for broader blockchain technology adoption, effectively providing developers with a functional environment in which to build, test, and run new blockchain applications without having to worry about building the infrastructure from scratch or hosting and managing it.

ABI’s industrial BaaS competitive assessment examined companies offering BaaS solutions catering to industrial blockchain applications, including construction, pharmaceutical and life sciences, utilities, manufacturing, automotive, distribution, energy, and agriculture. 

The assessment analyzed and ranked six industrial BaaS vendors, namely Alibaba, Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP. For this competitive assessment, innovation scores examined industrial proof-of-concepts (POCs, industrial Internet integration, ecosystem support, current roadmap, and geographic reach. Implementation criteria focused on platform choice, developer resources, integration with legacy industrial, management tools, and pricing.

“Both the BaaS markets and the digitalization of industrial markets are fairly nascent phenomena. Often, the intersection of blockchain and industrial service offerings are only within the remit of large technology providers with mature cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) offerings. As a result, only large companies play in the BaaS market, and all have varying levels of service offerings,” said Michela Menting, research director at ABI Research.

Overall, IBM comes out on top, leading on both the innovation and the implementation front. The firm’s platform is open to a broad range of industrial verticals and has run a significant number of pilots and POCs in the last five years, making it by far the most prominent BaaS provider in the space.  It also offers a broad range of platform choices and provides multi-cloud integration, above and beyond the other offerings.

Microsoft was ranked second, as a mainstream vendor, due to its resource-rich, flexible development and management infrastructure for its BaaS offering. Oracle comes in a solid third, also as a mainstream vendor, with good industrial ecosystem support and comprehensive management tools. SAP, Amazon, and Alibaba have robust BaaS platforms, but with a more limited industrial play than the assessment leaders, ABI said.

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