If a business wishes to consider adopting blockchain technology there are not many places to search. Often blockchain platform offerings focus on token price and volatility, and avoid mentioning utility, scalability and throughput. Extracting reliable information from the noise to adopt reliable blockchain technology can be difficult for enterprises.
The decision-making process can be long and complex for organisations. In global organisations, the process can span several years before a suitable solution is chosen. Enthusiastic blockchain providers – who may not have had many years experience dealing with global organisations – are often unaware of the myriad choices the business needs to take before moving forward.
Consider this before implementing an enterprise blockchain solution
Before implementing a blockchain solution, enterprises must be fully aware of the following stages of the decision-making process:
- Understand the company’s business objectives
- Secure support from key stakeholders in the business
- Thoroughly research each blockchain platform to ensure it meets the company objectives
- Fully evaluate solutions and providers
- Ensure that the platform is validated by end-users for functionality and ease of use
- Create an implementation plan
1. Understand the company’s business objectives
To understand the company objectives, a provider needs to understand the end goal of the company. Why should the organisation invest in this blockchain platform in preference to another platform? Will adopting this blockchain platform serve the company’s needs better than its current database platform? How much time and effort will it take to adopt the new platform and what organisational processes will have to change?
There will be some vital metrics that the blockchain platform must perform which are unique to the organisation. It must overcome the business’ current pain points and must not be a new ‘shiny’ solution that impresses the developers but does not operate as desired by the business. Will the new blockchain platform save time or money? Will it actually be better than the current way of working?
2. Secure support from key stakeholders in the business
Obtaining stakeholder and management buy-in is a critical step and should be carried out early in the decision-making process.
Support from management ensures that the business will not waste time evaluating hardware platforms only to have the budgetary requests refused at a later stage. Working out why you need a blockchain platform is key to persuading detractors in the management team.
Some companies may wish to have some of the management team involved at each stage of the process to ensure that the company’s objectives and long term strategic vision will align with the outcome.
Stakeholders will evaluate the financial investment and project development time and consider the priorities at each stage of the project. Having business leaders to champion the solution will help to allay detractors’ fears about the new platform.
3. Thoroughly research each blockchain platform to ensure it meets the company objectives
Consider each blockchain platform, its strengths and weaknesses. Do your due due diligence and eliminate any blockchains that do not fit your organisational goals for availability, security and data integrity. Which platforms obfuscate some of the functionality and which platforms promise much but have failed to deliver for other enterprises?
Your research across each blockchain platform should involve the following considerations:
- Will the solution scale to cope with current and expected future demand?
- Will the blockchain platform have the functionality required by the business?
- Does the blockchain platform deliver the requisite availability, confidentiality and integrity expected to achieve information security and satisfy corporate governance requirements?
- Is the blockchain platform stable, scalable and reliable with sufficient availability to ensure no downtime?
4. Fully evaluate solutions and providers
- Is the blockchain provider willing to work with you for several years, or is the provider keen to sell you a solution and move on.
- Are you happy with the blockchain provider’s level of competence and credibility?
- Does your team have the correct level of skills to manage the platform and continue to develop enhancements for the platform?
- Does the blockchain solution need staff training before the product can be used?
5. Ensure that the platform is validated by end-users for functionality and ease of use
- Can the solution be used on any digital device?
- Will the product be easy and efficient to use for end-users? Will they be satisfied using the new solution?
- Will the transaction costs outweigh the business benefits and provide a positive Return on Investment (ROI)?
- Does the blockchain’s capabilities match your criteria?
6. Create an implementation plan
When creating an implementation plan, it is important to work with the blockchain provider to create milestones, metrics and progress goals. Who is responsible and accountable for any issues during project implementation? Is a plan in place for the blockchain platform vendor to keep the organisation fully informed of each step in the implementation plan? How will data insights be recorded, and evaluated?
Understanding that the decision-making process may be long and complex for business can often help choose the correct blockchain platform. Having an awareness of how global organisations operate can ensure that the business can consider the best options for a blockchain platform and move forward with a solution that not only will deliver the results they want now, but will have the security, reliability and scalability companies need to remain the blockchain platform of choice for years to come.
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Eileen Brown is a Digital Marketing Consultant, contributor at onMSFT.com, Coingeek.com, author of ‘Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business’, and ‘Digital Marketer’, published by the British Computer Society. She writes about Microsoft Tech, Enterprise Blockchain use cases, Smart Home tech.
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