The Blockchain universe is expanding – surely and steadily. There’s clear and unprecedented value to be derived with this groundbreaking technology as it addresses hitherto unsolved business problems esp. in the areas of enterprise trust, security, efficiency and governance. Enterprises globally and across industries are investing in Blockchain projects and a majority of these projects are in Proof-of-Concept (PoC) or Pilot stage, while a few are already in production and scaling. Despite the hype and growing adoption, Blockchain and the value it represents is not fully understood by majority of businesses globally who are missing this real opportunity to immediately start deriving value from this technology.
In spite of all the technology that enterprises use today, there still exists many moments within their business processes, where they encounter problems that arise from lack of trust, security vulnerabilities, efficiency bottlenecks and governance that impact their business adversely – leading to increased costs, lost revenues and even marred brand reputation. But thankfully, a new breed of solutions enabled by Blockchain technology exist today that are uniquely poised to help enterprises address and transform many of these challenging moments into ‘Moments of Value’ and deliver unprecedented business impact. Enterprises can identify, create and link together these moments value to create Continuous Visibility & Trust, Security, Efficiency, and Governance within their business processes.
Finding Blockchain ‘Moments of Value’ Across Key Business Dimensions
Let’s now try to clarify and identify some of the various moments of value that Blockchain technology can enable or create within enterprises across the key dimensions of trust, security, efficiency and governance.
Trust – As with any business today, you cannot operate in a vacuum to create and distribute value to your customers. You have business processes or transactions that invariably involve other parties including suppliers, channel partners, contractors etc. Within each of these processes or transactions you have data being recorded in different databases owned, operated and trusted by each of the respective entities. This leads to lack of overall transparency and a lot of manual reconciliation efforts, which in turn leads to delays in accounting, and also potential disagreements and disputes. Blockchain solves this problem by proving common trusted, decentralized data store that everyone can use to record and view data in a verifiable manner while significantly improving transparency and reducing costs that arise from manual reconciliation efforts and disputes.
Finding Blockchain Moments of Value in Trust – List out the business processes or transactions involving other entities such as suppliers, channel partners, service providers or contractors. Identify instances or steps within a process where its relatively easier to implement Blockchain as a common data store and where there are considerable challenges in transparency, reconciliation, errors and disputes. You could start by requiring your smaller suppliers, channel partners or service providers to start submitting / recording some data on Blockchain via a portal or interface that you could provide them with.
Security – The need for security in today’s business world cannot be overemphasized with data theft, data loss, data tampering and other breaches that lead to billions of dollars lost annually to businesses worldwide. Many of these problems are caused by identity theft, malware and hacking. In many instances, centralized databases within public or private cloud environments become single points of failure or singular target honeypots for hacking, exfiltration, theft, tampering and similar acts of malice. Blockchain significantly fortifies the security of your business by creating immutability, redundancy, consensus-based validation, and more secure, cryptographically secured identity and data that’s ‘unhackable’ and makes the enterprise impervious to all the mentioned threats and associated costs. The key factor in using Blockchain as a security method is decentralization. When access control, network traffic, and even data itself is no longer held in a single location, it becomes much more difficult for cyber criminals to exploit.
Finding Blockchain Moments of Value in Security – List out the business processes or transactions where user identity needs to be imperviously secured, data needs to be tamper-proof or tamper-sensitive, and where data loss can be cost-prohibitive. These could be the key candidates where Blockchain can deliver an immediate impact. You can start by decentralizing storage of selective set of data on Blockchain and cryptographically securing this data and user or device identities that access this data.
Efficiency – Businesses today are surprisingly still bogged down by paper-based processes, manual data recording or verifications, human errors, use of intermediaries to name a few efficiency-draining practices. While digitalization has helped create ‘digital twin’ versions of paper documents and physical goods to make data processing efficient, Blockchain enables auditable tracking of these digital assets while embedding the authentic, verifiable proof of the original physical good or document, thus providing a trusted linkage between the physical and digital worlds. With verifiable, trusted, auditable data, Blockchain cuts out the middleman or any intermediary steps required for say, manual verification of data and use smart contracts to automate many of the rule or contract-driven processes and transactions. With the certainty that assets location and key data is correct at all times. Blockchain ensures that a single source of truth for all transactions ensures that a single version of data exists and reduces resources spent on data inaccuracy, data validation and aligning systems.
Finding Blockchain Moments of Value in Efficiency – List out the business processes or transactions where paper documents can be digitized in a verifiable manner, manual verification steps can be eliminated, use of intermediate parties can be avoided and business agreements can be automatically executed. Blockchain technology can be duly considered to address each of these to save time, costs and errors. You can start with intracompany processes and then systematically extend to processes involving partners, customers and regulators
Governance – Traceability, auditability and automation contribute to improved compliance and governance across business processes and transactions within enterprises. Recording data in an immutable manner on Blockchain creates a trusted audit trail that cannot be tampered with thus recording the business truth in an immutable, verifiable and unprecedented manner. And data in many instances within a supply chain can be captured via IoT sensors and imaging, which in turn improves overall data reliability and accuracy. Further, incorruptible smart contracts ensure transactions are automatically executed as per agreed terms, rules and policies by eliminating errors and other contract exceptions. Today, with the Blockchain ledger, you can record and track every step in the supply chain to trace where the goods came from to track its provenance to detect or avoid the menace of counterfeiting and improve overall product quality across the supply chain and drive brand trust and differentiation with end consumers. Data recorded on Blockchain also infuses trust in an audit process and improves regulatory and corporate compliance.
Finding Blockchain Moments of Value in Governance– List out the business processes or transactions where exceptions and non-compliance are creating the biggest headache for you. You can implement Blockchain to include smart contracts that enforce policies or rules or track data to instantly help detect or prevent these exceptions Also identify the sets of data that need to be reported to business stakeholders or regulatory bodies. Blockchain provides the trusted ledger to present this data as accurate and immutable truth that can pass audits of any nature or rigor.
Start with a Blockchain Impact Assessment
To help you assess how Blockchain technology can help your business, Copperwire Systems conducts Blockchain Impact Assessment Workshops using our proven ‘Blockchain Moments of Value’ framework and methodology that includes the following 3 steps:
- Analyze the current state an existing business process and identify the key moments of challenges in terms of trust, security, efficiency and auditability
- Map out in adequate detail how Blockchain can transform these challenging moments into ‘Moments of Value’ that improves the process to an achievable target state
- Analyze and prioritize these moments of value and outline a smart path to a practical Proof-of-Concept Simulation
Our proven framework offers the quickest path to help you identify areas in your business where Blockchain can add significant value and give you career recognition for initiating them. For further information on this, please contact us at email@example.com