The Bowery Capital team had a conversation with Brendan Berry, a Director of Product Management at Ripple, centered around the current state of cross-border payments and what the blockchain-powered future means for international payments.
We talk a lot about internet natives in the workforce, their growing role in the purchasing decisions of the enterprise is a key part of our thesis at Bowery. To that end, we care a lot about what they’re running up against at their various organizations.
For those tech-savvy and the well-informed, the infamous “cloud” points toward an information processing utopia. Access data from anywhere, store tons of information easily, cut out the bulky infrastructure—the cloud promises all of these benefits and more. Though most people barely recognize it, cloud computing snuck into our day-to-day lives through smartphones, internet providers, and many consumer-facing applications.
Within the enterprise, however, the cloud has yet to go mainstream. It is implemented by less than a third of IT departments. What’s the deal—why is adoption taking so long in the enterprise for something with such tangible value-add?
The answer boils down to a problem in enterprise technology that pops up again and again—wariness to adapt. It is easy to forget that most of today’s senior workforce started their careers pre-Internet. For many of these “internet immigrants,” the thought of leaving sensitive company information in a seemingly imaginary vortex is understandably frightening.
These skeptics do have a leg to stand on as Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) have repeatedly been vague about their security practices. Market leaders like Amazon Web Services do it right in being very transparent about their security practices through public webinars and white papers. Yet the “it’s complicated” excuse for security will not work to win over those already wary of the cloud; steps must be taken to educate IT and marketing directors.
Many companies are also cautious about making the transition because they already have hardware and software platforms in place. As one example, in the payment industry, huge legacy systems that have been set up for years at considerable expense stand in the way of cloud-based point-of-sales companies like Square fully taking over the market. IT managers are reluctant to fix something that’s not broken, especially when it took so much time and energy to put the original system in place.
The good news is that the “internet natives” are starting to take over, and their skills and inherent tech-savvy is likely to break many of the barriers that have long been in place. Gartner predicts cloud computing will grow by 18.5% this year. As these internet natives get more say in spending power, and as cloud service companies finally show themselves to be the safer, easier, and more valuable service that they are, the next year or two might mark the tipping point that pushes cloud computing unquestionably into the enterprise.
Bowery Capital and Balance explain how B2B marketplaces can think about payments.