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IS BLOCKCHAIN THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY FOR YOUR USE CASE?

ASSESS THE FEASIBILITY AND NECESSITY OF THE #1 TECHNOLOGY TREND FOR YOUR USE CASE

Blockchain is on top of every organization’s tech agenda and hyped as the technology that will transform our world in the coming years.

Yet many companies struggle with how to put it to work in different industries and functions. Many use cases have already been designed to exploit the large potential, but applying the blockchain technology seems not always a feasible solution. 

At Accenture Strategy we have developed a two-step assessment that can help companies test for the applicability of their blockchain use cases and make solid decisions despite the overall hype.

Within limited effort this allows to check the viability of organization specific use cases in terms of technical feasibility, value add of the technology as well as regulatory implications.

 

Start your blockchain use case assessment now!
 

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External party: An insurance company receiving data from a hospital. Internal party: An automotive OEMs Sales and Marketing Department receiving data from its dealerships.

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External party: An insurance company receiving data from a hospital. Internal party: An automotive OEMs Sales and Marketing Department receiving data from its dealerships.

Is it necessary to share data across multiple parties (both internally and externally) for the blockchain use case in question?

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In a parcel delivery service process multiple parties (e.g. logistics centers) need to update frequently the status of the delivery good.

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In a parcel delivery service process multiple parties (e.g. logistics centers) need to update frequently the status of the delivery good.

Is there a need for multiple writers to update or change the shared data in the business challenge?

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A patient does not fully trust in the authenticity of pharmaceutical products delivered by a retailer.

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A patient does not fully trust in the authenticity of pharmaceutical products delivered by a retailer.

Is there a level of mistrust likely or potentially existing between the different parties involved?

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Avoiding a regulatory function such a notary or auditing company could save costs and speed up processes.

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Avoiding a regulatory function such a notary or auditing company could save costs and speed up processes.

Is there an intermediating stakeholder (the ones in between) you potentially would like to avoid for efficiency or lead time reduction or other reasons?

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In cold chain logistic a mutually agreed rule would be a continuous temperature of min. -8 degrees Celsius along the delivery chain to consider the delivery as valid according to quality standards.

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In cold chain logistic a mutually agreed rule would be a continuous temperature of min. -8 degrees Celsius along the delivery chain to consider the delivery as valid according to quality standards.

Are there mutually agreed rules for the involved parties to consider a transaction as valid?

Your use case seems to fulfil all relevant pre-requisites and therefore blockchain might be a possible technology to solve your targeted business challenge.

In the second step, an analytical questionnaire along five dimensions will help you to reveal more insights on the use case’s potential and possible implementation challenges. Your answers will result in a final score that indicates possible strength and weaknesses in the concept of the use case and where to refine.

Some prerequisites for the feasibility of blockchain might not be present in your use case as one or more questions have been answered with no. Please carefully evaluate if the prerequisite(s) can be ignored or if you can refine your use case.

In the second step, an analytical questionnaire along five dimensions will help you to reveal more insights on the use case’s potential and possible implementation challenges. Your answers will result in a final score that indicates possible strength and weaknesses in the concept of the use case and where to refine.

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For a single payment transaction sometimes three banks and two clearing houses can be involved which sums up to five parties.

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For a single payment transaction sometimes three banks and two clearing houses can be involved which sums up to five parties.

How many parties are involved in the use case / process in question?

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Payment processes includes clearing houses which need to validate every single transaction. Avoiding them would streamline the process and increase the efficiency.

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Payment processes includes clearing houses which need to validate every single transaction. Avoiding them would streamline the process and increase the efficiency.

How many intermediate stakeholders that validate transactions are integrated in the use case and should ideally be avoided?

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A bank transfer from one party to another party follows a chronological order from the trigger of the transfer until receiving the money can be described as a linked and chronological process.

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A bank transfer from one party to another party follows a chronological order from the trigger of the transfer until receiving the money can be described as a linked and chronological process.

Are transactions in the process linked to each other or do they have a chronologically relationship?

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In the cold chain logistics, it is highly important that the transferred data is always accurate and data changes are only made if they meet the mutually agreed rules.

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In the cold chain logistics, it is highly important that the transferred data is always accurate and data changes are only made if they meet the mutually agreed rules.

How important is the integrity (the accuracy and consistency of data over its life cycle) of the data transferred in the process?

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Auditability is synonymous with track and trace in the logistics industry aiming to have full transparency about the data at any given point in time.

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Auditability is synonymous with track and trace in the logistics industry aiming to have full transparency about the data at any given point in time.

How important is the auditability of the data in the use case?

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When it comes to sales business the dealers network frequently increases. Each dealer is a new participant in the process.

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When it comes to sales business the dealers network frequently increases. Each dealer is a new participant in the process.

How important is it to add new participants to the process?

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From a customer’s perspective the online food ordering process comprises 3 steps: Order, pay, wait for delivery.

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From a customer’s perspective the online food ordering process comprises 3 steps: Order, pay, wait for delivery.

How many process steps (granularity Level 1) are processed?

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Highly personalized data such as the transfer of patient records from a hospital to an insurance has high confidentiality standards.

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Highly personalized data such as the transfer of patient records from a hospital to an insurance has high confidentiality standards.

How important is the confidentiality of the data?

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Manufacturing processes are characterized by a lot of regulations within the different process steps with different control points and reporting entities.

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Manufacturing processes are characterized by a lot of regulations within the different process steps with different control points and reporting entities.

Is the process in your use case characterized by many regulations in terms of legal and compliance?

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Personalized data often has the requirement for a deletion after a certain period.

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Personalized data often has the requirement for a deletion after a certain period.

How important is the clearing / erasing of the data after a certain period?

Your use case seems to fulfil all relevant pre-requisites and therefore blockchain might be a possible technology to solve your targeted business challenge.

In the second step, an analytical questionnaire along five dimensions will help you to reveal more insights on the use case’s potential and possible implementation challenges. Your answers will result in a final score that indicates possible strength and weaknesses in the concept of the use case and where to refine.

Some prerequisites for the feasibility of blockchain might not be present in your use case as one or more questions have been answered with no. Please carefully evaluate if the prerequisite(s) can be ignored or if you can refine your use case.

In the second step, an analytical questionnaire along five dimensions will help you to reveal more insights on the use case’s potential and possible implementation challenges. Your answers will result in a final score that indicates possible strength and weaknesses in the concept of the use case and where to refine.

The first dimension assesses the fundamental cornerstones of the technology. One of the main assumptions for the use of a blockchain is the requirement for an involvement of multiple parties and/or control points that need to view or interact with data. Without multiple parties that have a trust issue on interacting with data a blockchain is useless and a conventional centralized database is the better option to go for.

Using a blockchain ensures high reliability/availability of the network and guarantees an accurate audit trail for each data change. This can be highly beneficial when aiming to decreasing operational costs and to reduce risks with the potential blockchain use case. Yet, large amounts of data and high transaction volumes will require more advanced blockchain technologies.

The dimension System & Processes deals with different characteristics of a business process such as the scalability of its participants and data as well as maintainability and access rights. More complicated systems and processes require a more sophisticated blockchain technology and a much higher blockchain governance. This results in a higher initial invest and operational costs which need to be outweighed by technologies benefits.

The fourth dimension, Business Value, generates first indications if the technology can solve targeted challenges, improves business processes or creates opportunities for new business models. Main benefits of the technology are its potential to reduce operational costs and shorten settlement time within transactions. The technology enables high transparency of processes with a high degree of automation and guarantee for immutability/indisputability.

The dimension Legal, Regulatory & Compliance assesses regulatory challenges when implementing the technology. As the technology is very young, few legal and regulatory frameworks are in place to govern their use. Businesses which are characterized by strong regulations need to understand the impact the technology will have on their existing regulatory structures. Although the technology can involve high regulatory efforts, it can also eliminate complex regulatory process (e.g. through smart contracts).

Assessment results:

Review your results and next steps here. 
For detailed information please move your mouse over the red corners in the diagram.

Detailed results

Blockchain Applicability Index

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What's Next?

We see the Accenture Blockchain Assessment as perfect entry into the blockchain journey. Next steps are aligning the use case with the organizations strategic objectives, checking for framework conditions (e.g. talent skillset) and planning the proof of concept.

The blockchain technology has the potential to generate lasting business value but needs a careful assessment before investment. 

Those that start now will be the organizations to achieve competitive advantage. 

Please subscribe to get your results and further blockchain input via Email.

Get the detailed assessment results for your use case

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Stefan Lippautz
Managing Director Accenture Strategy Supply Chain & Operations

Emmanuel Viale
Managing Director 
of the Accenture Technology Labs in Sophia Antipolis