IBM Malaysia’s MD on Blockchain Hype

Asia Blockchain Review
February 20, 2020

In our 2nd part of this multi-installment series, we recently got to sit down with Catherine Lian, the MD of IBM Malaysia, for an in-depth look into the state of affairs with blockchain and the technology-based marketplace in Malaysia and beyond.

In a lot of ways, IBM has helped businesses rapidly move from idea generation to enterprise scale adoption as they introduce new revenue streams and business models, transform workflows and reinvent customer experiences. Additionally, the company accelerates how clients unlock insights and business outcomes by helping them to modernize existing applications with advanced cloud services like blockchain, AI and IoT. 

A Great 2020 is upon us

Catherine Lian, MD of IBM Malaysia, expects to see greater take-up and expansion of blockchain this year in new areas such as certification, digital identification and KYC (know your customer). It is known that IBM’s Blockchain Platform is built on Hyperledger Fabric to provide a full blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) offering. We asked Lian about how this technology helps innovation in terms of capabilities that are tied towards security, speed and scalability. “The next generation IBM Blockchain Platform provides a set of tools for building, operating, governing and growing networks, while abstracting away complexities in key operations and consortium management such as member onboarding, endorsement policies, enablement of smart contracts, configuring nodes, easy installation of patches and upgrades,” she added.

The Cloud is Calling

With the new architecture, the IBM Blockchain Platform is enabled to run in any Cloud with Kubernetes support. This new design also supports multi-cloud and hybrid cloud network architectures. “Our aspiration for IBM Blockchain Platform is for it to serve as the Hyperledger Fabric solution of choice for enterprises launching blockchain networks, and where partners of all sizes can build upon,” Lian stressed. The company also earned top scores for platform configuration and ecosystem, enterprise adoption and business value. Noted strengths include a strong ecosystem of tools, solutions, proven use cases and partnerships, and flexibility in deployment including multi-cloud. 

Flexibility is all the Rage

Enterprises these days are always focused on flexible deployments, and most blockchain platforms should be able to perform in on-premises, third-party clouds or even in hybrid/multi-cloud architectures. We asked Lian if she could explain how these considerations are reflected in the Malaysian and broader marketplaces in the ASEAN regions and beyond. “We see enterprises in Malaysia and Asean driving the digital reinvention agenda and are starting to move more of their mission-critical business applications and workloads to the cloud so they can build, adopt and scale AI while also becoming more agile and responsive to changing market and client demands,” she explained.

Change is in the Air

Lian went on to say that while this is creating great opportunity to fuel innovation, it is also creating the need to transform workflows across a hybrid and multi-cloud environment and companies need to change their culture as they apply new technologies in the future. “The charter of an enterprise is to deliver return on investment (ROI) to stakeholders and blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network,” she added. 

In short, practically anything can be tracked and traded on a blockchain network. It is on this principle that blockchain is adopted by clients in Malaysia and in the broader ASEAN region.

Be sure to check out Part 3 of our multi-installment interview series with Catherine Lian, the MD of IBM Malaysia next week!

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