There’s so much hype surrounding blockchain technology. However, all this is warranted as this technology has had a significant transformation in how business gets done by addressing many of the shortcomings that hinder smooth daily operations. This is because blockchain technology unlike previously assumed can be implemented by companies in different industries apart from cryptocurrencies. Knowing this, it’s your duty as a business owner to ensure the implementation of blockchain technology to solve many of your daily issues.
If you’re lost for ideas on using blockchain technology for your business and enjoying its benefits, look no further. Here’s a guide by Oxford Gold Group taking you through the steps you should follow to ensure the successful implementation of blockchain technology.
How to Successfully Implement Blockchain for Businesses
1. Understand What Blockchain Technology Is
It’s best first to grasp what blockchain technology is before going deeper into its implementation tips. Blockchain refers to a decentralized public network through which persons and companies can securely transfer and store information and current instantaneously. This technology got its name blockchain, referring to how information is stored in “blocks” and linked together using a permanent “chain.”
The design of blockchain technology makes it hard to modify data, hence why various industries adopt it, including healthcare, cybersecurity, and payment. This guaranteed security is achieved because adding an extra block makes it harder to change the previous blocks. As a result, the security of each block improves as time passes.
After understanding how blockchain technology works, the next step is finding ways to implement it in your business. After all, this technology is here to stay, so it’s better to embrace it and propel your business to greater heights. Here are tips you can follow to implement blockchain technology.
2. Know the Use Case
One fundamental thing you must do to ensure blockchain technology’s successful implementation is to find out a use case. This involves the process of recognizing, clarifying, and organizing why you need to use blockchain technology. When doing this, you’ll need to find out the exact issue you’re hoping to resolve and if using blockchain technology will help achieve your goal. But before going ahead and choosing it, make sure to familiarize yourself well with the process inside out and identify the potential bottlenecks.
When identifying the use case, it’s recommended you start small. As you do this, you should ask yourself a couple of questions, and these are;
- Do you need a blockchain?
- What are your goals, aims, and targets?
- Why does your business require blockchain implementation?
With an answer to each of these questions, you’ll know whether implementing blockchain is necessary by testing, using, and analyzing the results. This way, you can be sure that adopting this technology doesn’t adversely impact your company’s bottom line.
3. Understand Your Readiness
Blockchain technology is undoubtedly exciting; after all, it’s still new, and many people are still fascinated by its potential. However, it would be best if you didn’t rush to implement this technology without first making sure that everyone working in your business is open to this idea of using it. Otherwise, you’re bound to fail right from the start. Because this is the last thing you’d want as a business owner, you should assess your company’s readiness for the blockchain proof of concept.
To ensure your business is ready for the successful implementation of blockchain, here are the things you must have;
- Product owners
- Subject matter specialists from your various Legacy Systems
- System Integration Subject Matter Experts (external or internal)
- An ordered Project Team
- Blockchain Subject Matter Specialists (external or internal)
With each of these main points in place, your business has all it needs to move together cross-functionally.
4. Pick A Blockchain Carefully
There are many blockchain solutions to choose from, so you need to be careful and deliberate when picking which one is best suited for your business. You can do this by doing extensive research and considering your budget. Here are some of the blockchain platforms you need to consider;
- Hyperledger Fabric
You must do your research carefully when deciding which is the perfect blockchain platform to avoid getting hoodwinked by marketing people. In addition, make sure always to assess the technical team’s expertise as an experienced individual is better-placed to give you more appropriate advice.
5. Build An Eco-System
For optimal effectiveness, you need to build an ecosystem with whom to use the blockchain technology. This is recommended as having many stakeholders within the industry or organization who understand this technology and its potential can assist boost the trust among the involved companies. In addition, the rules stating the blockchain model can be identified by all involved.
There are a couple of recommendations that stakeholders must decide for the smooth use of the blockchain and this include;
- Ways of ensuring the costs and benefits are shared equally among every shareholder
- The rules of participation
- The set governance mechanisms such as constant auditing and validation to make sure the blockchain operates as designed.
- The governance framework
- The entity validating the new data written that gets written to the blockchain
- The control framework and risks to be used in addressing the shared architecture.
6. Choose The Right Consensus Protocol
A consensus protocol refers to a mathematical problem that needs a huge amount of calculation. There are many consensus protocols available to choose from, so you shouldn’t jump ahead to choosing one without doing your research. Consensus protocols work with requiring a miner to easily verify a solution after coming up with a solution.
When a person finds a solution, they’re given the right of writing the subsequent block, with a problem’s difficulty level changing in real-time depending on the network’s total power. The writing of blocks happens in regular intervals, with this system safeguarding against spam and hacking attempts. Thanks to consensus protocols, there’s an irrefutable system between the distributed network and gadgets, which helps avoid system exploitation.
The different consensus protocols available to pick from include;
- Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT)
- Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPOS)
- Proof-of-Stake (PoS)
- Proof-of-Work (PoW)
- Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPOS)
7. Be Prepared For The Unknown
You shouldn’t expect the journey of implementing blockchain technology to be all smooth. This is because you’re bound to experience major challenges down the road. After all, blockchain technology is relatively new, and you’re not guaranteed an answer to every problem.
One issue you should expect to deal with is security. This is possible even though compromising the blockchain network is almost impossible. The security vulnerability happens when data is being passed from the IoT cloud to the message bus. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect to experience any issue when implementing, and knowing this will help you know whether this technology is an ideal choice.
In addition, there’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding blockchain regulation and policies which differ between various countries. Because of this, make sure you’re always updated with the latest regulations and, better yet, be part of the policymakers.
8. Identify The Crucial Performance Indicators
You want to know whether blockchain technology is yielding positive results to your business. To do this, you need to narrow down the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and this will help you test a set of particular deliverables. This is done by aligning your Key Performance Indicators to the specific business issue you’re experiencing.
When designing KPIs, make sure to let the stakeholders know through proper channels, and it should be done in a manner that tells a story. It’s also best to have the KPIs applicable to every stakeholder.
9. Design Deliberately
The blockchain must always be designed carefully to fit with the current processes and solve the different organizational problems. Otherwise, a revision of the processes may be deemed necessary for laying the blockchain groundwork.
This deliberate design of the blockchain requires you to involve different teams within the organization other than the tech experts. These other departments include the management and operations, and their involvement will help identify possible issues. As a result, it’ll be possible to develop appropriate solutions. Other considerations to have in mind when implementing blockchain technology include compliance, cybersecurity, and privacy implications.
10. Work As A Team
If you’re committed to going far with implementing blockchain technology, then consider collaborating on testing. When working with others, you’ll be able to quickly identify bugs and fix them properly. This is usually the case because you’re less likely to ignore a bug when working as a team because you’ll be working as a team to address a certain issue. One technique you can incorporate is pair testing, ideally by including IT and Business.
When testing as a team, you’ll know that a recognized bug isn’t a bug but rather a particular business feature.
The implementation of blockchain technology makes a lot of sense as a business owner as it promotes security, decentralization, and immutability. Because of this, your confidence in this technology must have grown immensely hence eager to incorporate this into the day-to-day running of your business. However, blockchain is still confusing with many people, more so how it can be implemented. This shouldn’t be an issue after going over this guide and learning the tips to follow to ensure the successful implementation of blockchain technology.