Blockchain as a Service: All You Need to Know!
The application of Blockchain technology is no longer limited to cryptocurrency transactions. Blockchain technology has broadened its spectrum over time, and today it is a viable solution to secure various kinds of transactions across diverse industrial domains and offers certain strategic business benefits as well. Consequently, more and more businesses are incorporating Blockchain application development.
But several business enterprises, particularly small to mid-sized firms are finding it challenging to establish the necessary infrastructure required to architect, configure, and maintain Blockchain solutions owing to the following reasons:
· Blockchain is technically complex and the creation and maintenance of Blockchain solutions are time-consuming involving high operational overhead costs. So, this approach doesn’t work for companies with limited software resources, inadequate skillsets, and budgetary constraints.
· Developers without prior experience in crafting Blockchain solutions are likely to leave several security loopholes that may be detrimental for the company in the long run.
The one-stop solution to successfully address this roadblock is opting for a third-party Blockchain hosting service commonly called Blockchain as a Service (BaaS). A BaaS provider develops, manages, and maintains a cloud-based network/infrastructure for businesses that architect and operate Blockchain apps/solutions. The demand for BaaS providers is on the rise! As per a report published in November 2021 by the global market research and consulting company, “kvb research”, ‘The global BaaS market is expected to grow at the rate of 54.2% CAGR, and the market size is predicted to reach 17.9 billion dollars by the year 2027.’
Let’s explore the BaaS platform further and dig into the key aspects and facts that every entrepreneur planning to adopt this service needs to know!
Understanding the Term — Blockchain as a Service (BaaS)
Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) refers to a fully functional and managed Blockchain platform offering cloud-based solutions as per the needs of consumers. Such solutions are utilized by the consumer companies for creating, using, and hosting their Blockchain app solutions, functions as well as smart contracts. BaaS works like a web host that runs the back-end operations for Blockchain-powered apps/platforms. The BaaS vendors provide the necessary infrastructure as well as Blockchain development tools that enable consumers to build Blockchain apps/software services on a distributed network.
How is BaaS beneficial to Consumer Firms?
BaaS makes transactions highly transparent and traceable. Businesses using BaaS can effortlessly create their own Blockchain apps, host them, run the apps as well as associated functions smoothly, while service provider supports the infrastructure by keeping it operational as well as agile and manage the network. This approach enables enterprises to reap the benefits of Blockchain technology — data security, enhanced transparency and accountability, and trust minimization — without the need for creating or maintaining their own Blockchain environment.
This way, companies using Blockchain apps and smart contracts can save time, avoid investing heavily on in-house computing resources, and eliminate the hassles, issues, or probable glitches involved in the creation, deployment, and management of in-house Blockchain solutions. And most importantly, BaaS users will be able to devote more time and resources to manage their core business functions instead of having to worry about performance woes or network statistics.
How does the BaaS Business Model Function?
The functioning of Blockchain as a Service is quite similar to the functioning of the SaaS (Software as a Service) model. Under the BaaS business model, a third-party service provider installs, hosts, deploys and maintains a Blockchain network on behalf of their client companies. The BaaS providers set up their clients’ Blockchain infrastructure and deploy as well as maintain clients’ Blockchain nodes. The BaaS partner handles back-end services, particularly the complicated ones, take care of crucial Blockchain-related artifacts and keep them running as well. BaaS vendors are also responsible for executing support activities like resource allocation, hosting requirements, system health surveillance, security protocol monitoring like anti-hack layering for preventing cyber-attacks, and bandwidth management.
The business enterprises availing of BaaS need to pay service charges to their provider for the platform offered for Blockchain implementation. Blockchain networks are usually configured on platforms like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, BlockApps, Chain Core, R3 Corda, Quorum, etc. depending on customer needs.
To sum up, the BaaS partner manages the Blockchain infrastructure as well as its performance.
Renowned BaaS Providers
Major Cloud Service Providers offering BaaS
Blockchain-only Service Providers
· iCommunity Labs
Factors to Consider while Choosing your BaaS Partner
Experience and Expertise of the BaaS Provider
Your BaaS Provider must have ample domain experience as well as expertise in crafting and deploying Blockchain solutions on a similar eco-system and scale that you intend to adhere to. So, do not forget to check their credentials and ask for recommendations/reviews from previous clients they have worked with. You also need to check whether the provider has any prior experience in deploying cloud-based solutions to operate similar systems that are used by your company. Remember to ensure that the new Blockchain infrastructure deployed by the provider integrates seamlessly with your legacy systems.
Integration and Deployment of Smart Contracts
Smart Contract integration is necessary as it makes your Blockchain solution all the more transformative and distinct. Smart Contracts mechanism is required to integrate business logic into a Blockchain solution. It enforces the terms and conditions between the parties involved, and imposes penalties whenever any rule is violated. However, due to the immutable nature of BaaS platforms, Blockchain app developers find it complicated and challenging to test and deploy smart contracts. Hence, ensure that your service provider takes care of the integration as well as deployment of Smart Contracts.
Support for Various Runtimes and Frameworks
Some BaaS providers support only one type of enterprise Blockchain development. This model creates bottlenecks in case you wish to switch to another Blockchain platform during Blockchain application development using BaaS architecture. So pick a provider who supports a wide range of frameworks and runtimes. This approach will undoubtedly allow room for flexibility to your business needs.
Ensuring Software Security through an Identity Access Management Platform
The security of your Blockchain solution is of utmost importance. And, what can be a better way of ensuring the security of your Blockchain network than integrating an identity management platform. This way users will be permitted for accessing only a certain amount of information/layers. This concept works in a similar manner as the protocol for most firms — all employees are not given access to the internal sensitive information of an enterprise. For this reason, IAM or Identity Access Management platforms are deployed. An IAM platform empowers an enterprise to define access controls for digital identities. The process of identity management works in the following manner — either a single sign-in method or multiple authentication methodologies are employed for providing access to information. So, make sure that your BaaS provider offers the platform wherein an IAM framework can be integrated.
Other Crucial Considerations
· The systems and processes of the proposed Blockchain should be easy to adopt and user-friendly.
· A minor bug in distributed ledgers can result in dire consequences. So, you need to ensure that the proposed implementation plan doesn’t contain any potential gaps concerning security assurance.
· You should carefully analyze the pricing model offered by your vendor and check for any hidden costs. Thereafter, select the option that proves most profitable for your business.
· Make sure that your provider offers post-deployment support
The Blockchain as a Service approach had undoubtedly simplified Blockchain adoption for companies and organizations that intend to harness the potential of Blockchain solutions. However, entrepreneurs need to choose the right BaaS provider, proficient Blockchain developers, and the correct approach for integrating the Blockchain environment into their businesses.
Would like to build an impeccable and highly performant Blockchain solution? Contact Biz4Solutions, a proficient software development company offering high-end Blockchain technology services to clients across the globe.
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