Why your company should build a blockchain PoC in 2018

by: | May 31, 2018

By now you’ve certainly heard the buzz about blockchain technology — and seen predictions about how it is going to disrupt many long-standing centralized business models. We at ArcTouch are bullish about blockchain’s potential (especially as it relates to mobile) and are going all-in to becoming a DApp development company — and we’re not alone.

The blockchain proof of concept (PoC)

Many Fortune 500 companies are already investing heavily in a blockchain proof of concept (PoC) and distributed ledger technology, exploring use cases for their own business operations and for customers (including B2B and consumer applications). A recent Gartner survey revealed that 66% of CIOs and IT leaders believe blockchain will create business disruption, and have established budgets to experiment with the the technology; 5% of those surveyed said they will spend more than $10 million on blockchain in the next 5-10 years.

As a forward-looking technology and/or business leader, you are probably contemplating the potential for disruption in your industry — and maybe even wondering about how you can leverage blockchain to create a competitive advantage for your business.

So, how do you cut through the noise and hyperbole around blockchain and decide where to start? The answer is simple: Invest in a blockchain proof of concept (PoC) in 2018.

How to get started with a blockchain PoC

Getting started with blockchain is easier said than done, right? Of course — but you don’t have to make a massive commitment to begin. In fact, our BlockFirst blockchain developer practice is specifically designed to remove any friction and barriers for businesses. We provide all of the strategic, technical and delivery expertise needed to launch a successful blockchain PoC in 6 weeks or less.

And it starts with helping you answer the question of “Why blockchain?”

Blockchain PoC Process

Set the vision: Defining your blockchain PoC definition

Just like any product development process, a successful blockchain PoC starts with sound strategy — regardless of whether you work with ArcTouch or do this on your own. We help our clients set the strategy in motion with what we call a Blockchain Ideation Workshop.

Our 1-2 day workshops bring our blockchain strategists directly to clients to explore use cases that make sense for their business. This includes asking a series of questions to identify the intersection of your business needs with blockchain and distributed ledger technology, including:

  • Do you have a business process that relies heavily upon trust? If so, blockchain can remove the need for this trust by making transactions (informational or monetary) fully transparent.
  • Do multiple parties manipulate the same data? A blockchain solution can enable real-time monitoring and establish an immutable record of each party’s activities.
  • Is data integrity crucial to any of your business processes — and verified by third party audits? Blockchain’s immutable record provides an easy-to-audit history of any type of transaction.
  • Do you have any intermediaries that control the single source of truth? Blockchain can provide an efficient verification of any transaction, reducing the needs for a intermediary.
  • Do you have a business process that involves low-value, manual verification steps? Blockchain can simplify operations by eliminating the manual efforts to report on transactions or resolve disputes.

Once we identify the opportunity, it’s time to create the definition for the blockchain proof of concept. Here we get into the details of the architecture and design of the blockchain solution.

We’ll answer questions like:

  • Who is the target user/customer for this? Even if there are no plans to deploy a commercial solution after the PoC, you should understand the problem you are solving for a particular audience.
  • Which blockchain platform should we use? There’s a variety of platforms we have experience with: Ethereum, Hyperledger, Corda, NEO or MultiChain.
  • What type of blockchain should we use? Public, private or consortium.
  • How will we measure success for the PoC? Often times, the primary success metric for a blockchain PoC will be understanding at the end of the project whether there is an opportunity to build and deploy a commercial application. Still, we’ll need to define the specific metrics that will help get you to that decision point.

Building your blockchain PoC

Once the Ideation Workshop is complete and the vision for your blockchain PoC is set, the hard work for you, the business leader, is done. Now the real fun begins for our blockchain designers and engineers — as they get to create the PoC.

Depending on the complexity of the blockchain proof-of-concept, this can take anywhere from four weeks to a couple of months. We always recommend taking a lean app development approach — whether for mobile apps or blockchain based DApps. Keep the timeline short and the scope tight — this will help you maintain a reasonable budget and optimize the learning potential.

The important thing here is to start now, develop quickly, and learn quickly. It is a proof of concept, after all, not a production blockchain implementation. So set a goal for the rest of 2018 that’s achievable: Learn about blockchain and its potential impact on your business by building a blockchain PoC.
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Ready to get started on your blockchain PoC?

ArcTouch is happy to talk to you and offer free advice how to get started with Blockchain and build your PoC. So, contact us and let’s set up a time to talk!