Blockchain technology is your key to more transparency
Trust is good, but control is better! This saying will most certainly not be found in any current books on leadership, however it does summarize what using blockchain solutions can offer you: Transparency and control in distributed ecosystems with conflicting interests – where you would have to rely on trust without Blockchain. As an alternative to using costly intermediaries and tamper-proof data storage, this still young technology should always be considered today as a solution for CIOs!
Blockchain alone is not a panacea
Of course, blockchain technology will not cure cancer. Nor is blockchain suitable for storing large-volume data formats such as video files. Rather, blockchain is like any other tool: you must use the technology for the right purpose. After all, you wouldn't try to drive a screw into a wall with a hammer, would you?
We help you identify real blockchain use cases in your specific environment and enable you to evaluate them independently.
Blockchain is a solution building block
Blockchain alone does not create an application! In order to use blockchain technology appropriately, it must be embedded in an overall architecture and, if necessary, combined with other technologies such as IoT and AI. Think of a blockchain solution building block as a data integrity or trust layer that enables tamper-proof data exchange with your partners, suppliers, customers, competitors, etc.
We always look at the big picture, and in addition to our blockchain know-how, we also contribute our architectural expertise and our database of complementary technologies.
Blockchain is subject to network effects
A blockchain is operated by a so-called peer-2-peer network and is thus, by definition, subject to the effects of network economics. That is, the benefits of a blockchain-based solution increase (at least up to a point) with the number of actors involved. In fact, achieving critical mass is the Achilles heel in many failed
projects - "blockchain alone" just doesn't make sense. Competitors are also among the players you should win over for a successful blockchain solution – coopetition (the act of cooperation between competing companies) is the right appropriate buzzword! As a management consultancy, we have an excellent network among companies in many industries and can help you forge powerful alliances.
Blockchain already exists “ready-made”
You don't have to reinvent the wheel every time you build a car - neither does Blockchain! There are open source blockchain "building blocks" such as the Hyperledger Framework that you can build on. Depending on the use case, it can also make sense to use an existing public blockchain as a trust infrastructure and only build the application logic "around" it. We know the scene and help you with the efficient design of blockchain solutions.
1. Learn & Analyze
- What is blockchain and how can you apply the technology?
- What opportunities, potentials and risks does blockchain technology bring to your business model?
- A basic understanding of blockchain technology, its characteristics, areas of application and benefits
- Identify potential threats to your business model as an intermediary through blockchain technology
- Identify opportunities by using blockchain technology
- Expose use cases for blockchain technology that are considered suitable
- Basic training in blockchain and distributed ledger technologies
- Blockchain Threat Assessment for your individual business model
- Blockchain ideation for your industry, your processes and your business model, for which we combine our blockchain know-how and the knowledge of your business environment
- Systematic and factual assessment as well as selection of suitable use cases
- How does the solution need to be designed conceptually and technically, in oder to be successful?
- How can a critical mass of participants be reached?
- What does a prototype look like and can a successful proof-of-concept be provided?
- A structured, detailed concept taking into account all relevant aspects
- A holistic target architecture for the considered use case
- Provision of a proof-of-concept based on a prototypical implementation
- Networking with partners (incl. competitors) to achieve critical mass
- Access to implementation partners from the UNITY Blockchain Ecosystem
- Detailing of selected blockchain use cases and elaboration of the overall concept (including governance model, on-chain/ off-chain data engineering, digital mapping of physical assets, ...).
- Development of the system architecture including integration into the blockchain architecture
- Support forming consortiums through our cross-company network
- Support in prototypes/ proof-of-concepts and deployment of our blockchain ecosystem
- What lessons can be learned from the prototype?
- How can the solution be transferred from a prototype to productive live operation?
- How can the solution be rolled out and scaled on a large scale?
- A blockchain solution that is rolled out and in production with all benefits identified
- Implementation of improvements based on lessons learned from proof-of-concept phase and live operations
- Growing potential and benefits with increasing number of participants
- High-profile positioning as a technologically innovative company
- Analysis and lessons learned from prototypes and lessons learned
- Development of concepts for rollout, communication and scaling
- Control of the implementation of the "final" solution
- Conceptual lifecycle support of the productive solution for continuous further development
Blockchain is suitable for replacing the function of intermediaries, either entirely or partially. As a result, you save costs for the remuneration of intermediaries and gain efficiency because the direct interaction saves process steps.
Decentralized data storage on the blockchain enables maximum transparency for all the players involved, who no longer have to fear being at the mercy of a "data octopus." Gain transparency over the entire system – for example, over your entire supply or value chain.
The subsequent modification of data records on the blockchain is impossible. This prevents costly fraud and enables applications that have high auditability requirements – for example, in highly regulated industries.
So-called "smart contracts" (simple computer programs that allow the automated execution of contractual terms when defined parameters occur) can be used to automate cross-company processes. These are tamper-proof thanks to the blockchain properties on which they operate.
Knowledge of the technology, its functionality and characteristics build the essential foundation for your success in blockchain. It allows you to identify blockchain opportunities, conceptualize solutions and successfully overcome challenges on the path towards implementation.
Combination of complementary technologies
By combining blockchain with other technologies such as AI/ML or IoT, you can secure your blockchain solution and develop additional benefits – for example, data from smart sensors can be written to a blockchain in a tamper-proof manner.
Selection of the right type of blockchain
There are different configurations of blockchains. For example, a distinction is made between public and private blockchains as well as the mechanisms used to validate transactions and establish consensus in the network. Selecting the right type of blockchain for the application is a crucial decision that is critical to your success.
Mastering the “digital edge”
Once a data record has been entered on the blockchain, it can no longer be changed and is therefore tamper-proof. But what if manipulation occurs before the entry is placed on the blockchain? This, in effect, would make false data tamper-proof. This is a challenge faced by numerous use cases in the real economy whose transactions cannot be verified by all network participants solely through the data available on the blockchain itself – as in the case of the Bitcoin network. Therefore, an important success factor in blockchain is mastering the "digital edge" by using suitable mechanisms that either rule out or make manipulation very unlikely when moving from the real to the digital world.
Application in the right context
Blockchain is a complex technology with very specific characteristics – both positive and negative. Many blockchain projects fail because the technology is applied in use cases for which it is not suitable or for which there are better alternatives.
Use of standards
The use of standards is not only relevant for efficiency in creating and maintaining the blockchain solution, it also plays a prominent role in terms of interoperability.
Building consortiums & coopetition
A blockchain solution is successful if it covers the ecosystem of an application as holistically as possible, i.e. the more relevant players participate in the solution, the better. In order to achieve the critical mass necessary for a blockchain solution to make sense, consortium building is essential for the initial project. In the process, cooperation must also be established with direct competitors in the sense of coopetition.
On-Chain/Off-Chain Data Engineering
One of the most important conceptual decisions to make in a blockchain solution is the question of which data should be stored on the blockchain and which data is stored outside of the blockchain and only referenced or authenticated by the blockchain . This not only plays an important role for the scalability and performance of the solution, but also has a legal impact, such as compliance with the EU GDPR.
„Based upon a profound blockchain know-how, UNITY supported us with a very thorough and well-structured analysis concerning the challenges associated with our use case. The derived recommendations are the foundation for our further approach in implementing the use case!”
Carlo van Driesten, Systems Architect Virtual Test & Validation, BMW Group