By Kris Bennett
1. Do I have one or more assets I want to track?.......................
- There's something I care about that I want to track. This thing can be physical or virtual. Bitcoin, digital music, food products, intellectual property, and usage of a service platform are all valid examples of an asset.
- If yes, a shared immutable ledger of events affecting the assets you care about is likely of value.
- If no, you're likely trying to solve a business problem better suited to tools other than blockchain.
2. Do I care about the evolution / lifecycle of an asset?...............
- It is not enough for me to know the current state of an asset; it is important for me to be able to see the history of an asset and how it has evolved over time.
- If yes, the permanent append-only ledger providing full version history of all assets and their related properties will likely be of significant value.
- If no, a database is likely a suitable data storage component.
3. Is the evolution / lifecycle of an asset governed by rules and well-defined processes?............................................................
- An asset in my business evolves over time according to rules and well-defined processes.
- If yes, Smart Contracts and the ability to automate business processes according to clearly defined rules will likely add significant value.
- If no, you're likely just looking to capture data rather than act on it. Technologies such as IPFS or no-SQL database platforms might provide greater value.
4. Am I the single voice of truth for questions about an asset?........
- In most cases, as an asset evolves over time it passes through many hands. This means I am most likely but one of many custodians of an asset during certain parts of a larger, collectively-shared process.
- If no, a centralized system acting as a single source of truth is likely not an ideal fit. A decentralized authoritative system which is shared and collectively managed by all members of a business network is likely a much better fit.
- If yes, a database or other centralized authoritative system is likely acceptable as your organization is already the single voice of authority for questions around this particular asset.
If you answer 'yes' to 1-3 and 'no' for 4, you've likely got a good blockchain use case.
If your organization is interested in exploring or discussing use cases be sure to check out our BLOCKCHAIN USE CASE WORKSHOP or if you already have a good use case and you are looking to move toward proof of concept be sure to check out our BLOCKCHAIN PROOF of CONCEPT WORKSHOP.