Accenture, a $75 bln consulting and professional services firm, revealed in its report that the implementation of Blockchain technology could save investment banks up to $12 bln a year.

The report entitled “Banking on Blockchain, a Value Analysis For Investment Banks” released by Accenture Consulting in collaboration with Aon, is based on a survey which the firm’s researchers conducted with eight major investment banks.

According to the report, the utilization of Blockchain in supplementing manual processes and operations of banks can save organizations up to 30 percent in annual savings and 27 percent on average across the banks surveyed by Accenture.

Researchers at Accenture stated:

“Considered in this light, annual cost savings would equate to 38 percent or around $12 bln. If we take an average of this $12 bln with the $8 bln base case cited above, we estimate $10 bln in annual cost savings.”

Automation on a transparent and immutable ledger

Essentially, Accenture’s report demonstrates the potential of a transparent and immutable distributed ledger within the realm of traditional finance. By relying on a network which eliminates the concept of centralization and trust-based relationships the majority of operations of investment banks can be automated.

Reduction of manual labor and operations will optimize complex financial tasks, which often take hours to even weeks to complete using IT infrastructures integrated by banks today.

“We estimate that investment banks spend around two-thirds of their IT budgets supporting legacy back-office infrastructure, plus billions more each year on cost reduction initiatives. In other words, it’s costing too much time, effort, liquidity and capital to support processes that don’t offer a sustainable improvement in profits,” the report added.

However, Accenture emphasized that investment banks or any financial organization looking to adopt Blockchain technology must understand the fundamentals of the technology beforehand. Various operations exist that can be optimized simply with improved database technologies or IT infrastructure without the implementation of Blockchain.

Fundamental understanding of Blockchain is required

One reason Accenture reaffirmed the importance of grasping the in-depth technical knowledge of Blockchain technology to its partner firms and clients is because of a number of resources, capital and talents that are required to develop, implement, deploy and maintain a Blockchain-based platform.

In mid-2016, the research firm Greenwich Associates revealed that over $1 bln is being allocated in the development of Blockchain on an annual basis. The development of Blockchain technology or Blockchain-based platforms is difficult and expensive primarily because of the shortage of developers.

There are only a handful of developers that have a fundamental understanding of the technology and working proficiency on Blockchain technology to maximize its potential.

“Among firms stating their organizations have some Blockchain initiatives underway, 32 percent have an annual budget in excess of $5 mln per year, and a further 15 percent have budgets in excess of $2 mln. Projected across the entire financial services industry that level of spending will likely top $1 bln in 2016,” said Greenwich Associates.