Blockchain is here. Sharad Malhautra has done it. He’s got the battle scars (dozens of them). Let’s find out what he learned.
On April 12, Cintrifuse is excited to showcase our Active Network with our next edition of the Tech Frontier Series on blockchain technologies with EY and MState Labs. EY is a founding partner of Cintrifuse, who has long played an important role not just in our growth, but the ecosystem’s as well. MState Labs is in our broader network and just one of the dozens of ecosystem and accelerator we have access to. Even though we’re rooted in Cincinnati, we continue to build relationships with accelerators and ecosystems around the country to ensure we have a pulse on state of things.
Sharad Malhautra will headline the event on April 12. He is a leader in supply chain blockchain initiatives at EY. Sharad has served as a lead advisor to C-suite executives on emerging technologies, disruptive business models and enterprise blockchain strategy. While he advises on enterprise strategy, Sharad can also go “in the weeds” on launching blockchain projects; having done several in sectors like Consumer Products, Retail, Transportation, Oil and Gas. Sharad has over 13 years of global leadership experience across the United States, Europe and Asia. In 2015, he was recognized for his work on child hunger initiatives by the Association of Management Consulting Firms.
Meet Sharad. He’s the one who’s executed dozens of proof of concepts in blockchain technology and survived to share more with us.
1) Tell us about yourself, your firm and something you are working on right now that you find most exciting (something we can’t snag off Linkedin).
I lead blockchain engagements in supply chain at EY. My passion is to help enterprises move to a decentralized business architecture that can unleash the next level of growth and productivity. Blockchain is an enabling technology that can help with this vision of seamless automation and decision-making, enabling the decentralized model.
2) Blockchain has been identified as a revolutionary technology. How do you see it playing a role in our future?
I would say blockchain is a fundamental technology rather than being “revolutionary.” Blockchains and Distributed Ledger Technologies have the promise for laying the foundations of a single version of truth for all data sources across the network of enterprises. This will help solve on the biggest problems that other emerging technologies like AI face today – lack for proper data to accelerate the journey of automated decision making in organizations. It is important to note here that with decentralized ledger technologies there are going to be new business architecture and decentralized models that have yet not been even envisioned. There is expectation of inertia that enterprises will have to embrace these new decentralized business models even though the promise of unleashing productivity and growth in these new models will be apparent from the beginning.
3) Which industry will the strongest effects of blockchain? How prepared are most companies for the changes that blockchain will bring?
A majority of the enterprises are still in the exploratory stages on blockchain across sectors. Enterprises are still in the education mode of evaluating different protocol stacks and business areas where the applicability would be of high value. We do several PoC’s that both we and other firms are currently doing. However, performance, scalability and privacy are still impediments for large-scale production implementations for another year or so. Given the emerging nature of the technology, there are new protocol stacks and deployments coming out on a weekly basis. Staying on top of the different trends and which ones are likely to become the most prominent standard is the imperative for most enterprises.
4) There has been considerable hype around blockchain. How can executives tell the difference between smoke & mirrors and real applications?
Blockchain technology is considerably over-hyped. We believe that over 80 percent of the PoC’s will not reach production due to poor scoping of the use-cases. My advice to executives is that for any use-case, first, look at traditional IT technologies and determine that they cannot solve the problem for the use-case. If all options of traditional technologies are exhausted, then look at blockchain as a potential emerging technology for solving the business problem. Blockchain is not the hammer for every nail in your organization, articulating the right business problem in your organization is the key to a successful implementation of blockchain technology.