Blockchain Implementation & Strategies // EIT Digital Professional School

Blockchain Implementation & Strategies

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

So many codes, nodes and ledgers, oh my! Taking on the mission of blockchain implementation for your business or company can initially seem daunting and leave you feeling a bit like Dorothy lost in the land of Oz. But try to take a brief step back and rest assured that with the right knowledge of key concepts, an experienced team of professionals, along with the necessary technological resources, success through blockchain is within your reach.

How Can my Business Benefit from Blockchain Implementation?

Blockchain Implementation & Strategy

There are a multitude of ways to apply blockchain into various different business models. Here are just a few cases of sectors which can incorporate blockchain into their overall strategies and some examples of how they are able to directly benefit from the many advantages that it has to offer:

Retail companies

  • Improve loyalty programs and client fidelity
  • Guarantee supply chain tracking
  • Optimise communication between manufacturers, retailers and customers

Finance

  • Offer immutability, transparency and permanence of sensitive financial data
  • Rely on enhanced tracking of financial instruments such as loans and foreign currency exchanges
  • Provide secure and transparent records of cryptocurrency transactions

Food and pharmaceutical distribution

  • Count on precise product traceability and assurance of the true origin of all materials and goods
  • Reduce the total cost of transactions by removing intermediary processes
  • Depend on product sensors or signals which are able to raise alarms and trigger necessary actions

Education and professional development

  • Securely store records of academic transcripts, learning records and certifications
  • Allow employers to confirm the proof of origin of possible candidates’ qualifications which are cryptographically signed
  • Have access to certification authorities who can import data and examination results from legacy systems

How to Take On Blockchain Implementation

Before diving into coding, nodes, network creation, hash values and other encryption options, take the time to review some key factors and the possible obstacles that may arise.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • What are the current data management challenges of my business and how are they being addressed at this point in time?
  • What use case applications and relevant blockchain opportunities can be identified?
  • Can I count on well-structured tools for development, operations and governance, along with a reliable and experienced team of professionals?
  • Do I have or can I anticipate a sufficient number of assets, participants and transactions in order to meet necessary objectives?

Blockchain Management and Challenges to Overcome

The use of shared ledgers for recording and storing digital compliance documentation and transactions between participants provides your business with extreme transparency and accuracy. However, management and the initial implementation of blockchain can force you to jump over various hurdles before finding your true stride.

  • Possible initial resistance within stakeholders, the uncertainty of changes and the modification of established procedures and responsibilities
  • Preliminary and continuous training of current and future professionals working within your team
  • Effectively control the integration of external information and data recorded in transactions in order to avoid the unnecessary enlargement of distributed ledgers
  • Identify the need to rely on third parties which are able to verify and confirm the validity and accuracy of the encrypted digital information contained in ledgers
  • Establish contractual rules which define the governance of your network and the requirements for participation

The Next Steps

After laying the foundation of your primary blockchain strategy, it is important to develop a clear and solid understanding of the core aspects that will ultimately affect the success of your new endeavour. For example, there are several evaluation criteria to help decide which type of blockchain technology to use based on access restrictions and whether public, private, permissioned and permission less blockchains are most appropriate.

This is one of the many topics that is explored in detail during the EIT Digital Professional School blending course Blockchain 360, which is developed in collaboration with Fraunhofer FIT. This blended course is comprised of a free massive open online course (MOOC) and a two day in-person class which provides you with all of the essentials that you need to know about blockchain and avoid feeling like Dorothy lost in the land of Oz.


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