Business and IT Services Will Dominate Enterprise Spending on Blockchain

A new forecast from IDC shows worldwide spending on blockchain services growing from $1.8 billion in 2018 to $8.1 billion in 2021, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 80%.

Interest and investment in blockchain as an emerging technology is accelerating as firms seek secure, sequential, and immutable solutions to improve business processes, enable new services, and reduce service costs. Given the maturity state of the technology, the hype surrounding potential applications, and the need for specialized skills, the majority of blockchain spending will be in the services market, both business and technology services.

IDC defines blockchain as a digital, distributed ledger of transactions or records. The ledger, which stores the information or data, exists across multiple participants in a peer-to-peer network. There is no single, central repository that stores the ledger. Distributed ledgers technology (DLT) allows new transactions to be added to an existing chain of transactions using a secure, digital or cryptographic signature. To develop, build, deploy, and maintain these distributed ledgers and smart contracts, enterprises are turning to professional services firms, systems integrators, and application developers.

As blockchain begins to find its way into corporate strategies and business processes, a variety of business and IT consulting, development, platform, outsourcing, and educational services will be needed. These fall into three market segments: project-oriented services, outsourced services and support services. IDC expects to see dramatic growth in the blockchain developer marketplace over the next several years. By 2021, the number of consultants and developers in blockchain services will have grown tenfold from current estimates.

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