Decentralized Computing: The Building Blocks for a Digital Enterprise

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The enterprise will forever be changed as blockchain technologies become more pervasive in everyday applications. Not only can decentralized technologies help to reduce IT costs, they will open the door to new applications that were not possible with legacy architectures and business models. The concept of pay-per-compute plays a big part here—it’s the idea that you only pay for the computing power that you require to run your applications and nothing more. The idea is nothing new (think Amazon AWS), but pay-per-compute resources will help shape the implementation of blockchain technologies across the digital enterprise, enabling business leaders to better serve their customers, employees, and deliver critical technologies.

In the near future, entire businesses will run on decentralized pay-per-compute platforms. Decentralized pay-per-compute platforms utilize blockchain technologies to execute computer code on a distributed network of machines. This model will disrupt the way enterprises interact with core business applications and the shift will enable a major reallocation of a company’s computing resources away from maintenance and upkeep toward innovation and business expansion. Decentralized technology will pave the way for a completely new way to deploy and license enterprise software.

We are already capable of developing applications and performing serverless pay-per-compute (PPC) application execution in the cloud. The current PPC offerings enable a new segment of business possibilities and cost-saving opportunities. With this architecture, businesses can greatly reduce IT costs and scale with agility and ease. Larger development budgets lead to business expansion in search of new revenue. However, there are some shortcomings: these technologies still require large server networks, somewhere, to store and execute apps; the server centers are a central point of failure or attack; servers may suffer outages and natural disasters; there are only a select number of vendors controlling costs; scaling can be a costly issue. Enter decentralized cloud networks.

This is where blockchain technology fits in and disrupts the current model. The decentralized pay-per-compute (dPPC) model may be one of the first viable blockchain use cases in the digital enterprise. Many companies are attempting to solve problems by injecting blockchain technologies into all aspects of the business. However, most of these solutions are akin to trying to fit a square peg in a round hole—they are being forced into incorrect applications. Let’s take a second to think about what blockchain technology really enables. Through the use of a decentralized ledger of consensus, blockchains allow us to both verify and access information stored on the chain… forever. Therefore, if an application is uploaded onto a blockchain, I can simply call that application at any time to run on a dPPC computer network.

Blockchain technologies can make use of extra storage and compute resources located all over the world on a vast network of underutilized computers. Just think about the amount of compute resources out there that are currently allocated but unused! Using blockchain technology, the dPPC model doesn’t rely on servers hosted by one company. Instead, code is broken down into small encrypted bits and pieces, stored on a network of machines all over the world, able to be executed at any time. Enterprises will pay reduced fees to store applications and tiny fees to execute them.

The serverless style of computing is going to change the way applications are created. No longer will developers think about where a new application will reside—they will simply create one and allow someone else to worry about storing, securing, and scaling it (the three S’s). As more enterprise applications switch to run on shared compute platforms—PPC and eventually dPPC networks—they are going to become even more location agnostic. Today, many APIs are hosted in hybrid cloud environments and are managed using cloud-based management platforms. With a shift towards API-first architecture styles, cloud services will become more standardized. More of these services will transition to decentralized data centers, managed by someone else and utterly forgotten by their users. This allows developers to focus on creativity and innovation, while delegating the three S’s (storing, securing, scaling) to some other platform.

In the future it is entirely possible that there will not be large enterprise implementations of software, separately owned by big companies. Decentralized enterprises may consume services from networks of distributed nodes that will offer better uptime, faster response, reduced storage and execution costs, along with the most powerful toolkit the enterprise has ever had to innovate and grow. The future trend starts with serverless pay-per-compute business models that will morph into decentralized solutions as blockchain technologies gain adoption.

Find out how to reinvent your business using blockchain technology. I welcome your feedback and opinion on how you see blockchain expanding beyond its cryptocurrency roots.