By Paul Parker, SolarWinds Federal & National Government Chief Technologist
Blockchain is already one of the top five most important technologies in the IT strategy of 12% of surveyed public sector employees, according to the recent IT Trends Report from SolarWinds. The U.K. government is heavily encouraging blockchain-based technologies, with a £19 million investment in innovative product or service delivery projects.
The promise of blockchain lies in how it can help accelerate the verification processes using many connected computers to store blocks of information. Blockchain is transparent by design, allowing data to be shared more easily between buyers and sellers.
Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the way government agencies acquire services and solutions, but, as the financial world has discovered, network monitoring and management strategies play a critical role in blockchain’s success within public sector organizations.
Distributed network monitoring and visibility
The success of blockchain in procurement is dependent on a high throughput of transactions and low latency. Unfortunately, those goals can be difficult to achieve over a disparate network. In addition, according to the SolarWinds IT Trends Report, 58% of public sector IT professionals surveyed felt their network was not working at optimum levels.
On-prem and hybrid network infrastructures are highly distributed. Teams need to be able to monitor data as it passes between all of these services to help ensure that their networks are operating efficiently and dependable. The best way to get this insight is by monitoring strategies that are designed to provide access and visibility into the entirety of the network, wherever it may exist.
Resilient, but not impervious
Blockchain technology has been suggested as potentially more secure than alternatives, if
used correctly. This is due to its decentralized nature, which can make it a harder target for hackers to hit. Agencies must still make sure that they are maintaining the same high level of security practices they would do otherwise.
It is also important to remember that blockchain is a relatively new technology. As such, there may be vulnerabilities that have not yet been exposed. At this very moment, it is likely that many hackers are attempting to identify and exploit blockchain vulnerabilities. Maintaining a sound security position can help agencies fortify themselves against those efforts while taking strides to improve their procurement processes.
Innovation beyond the procurement process
Blockchain has considerable potential for the public sector in the U.K. It has been shown to be innovative and powerful in other industries and could very possibly revolutionize government procurement processes in the near future. However, this is only the start of the potential blockchain revolution. The same technology could work to track government loans and spending, protect critical infrastructure, or even help to deliver on the government’s foreign aid commitments in a
more secure and transparent way.
Success with blockchain, though, is contingent on supporting the technology with comprehensive network management. Clear visibility across all nodes and management of performance levels will be integral to helping maintain security and preventing blockages in the network. Only then can blockchain and distributed ledger technology successfully transform government digital services.
Find the full article on Open Access Government.
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