Improving business networks in government with blockchain

Total read time 17 min

IBM Blockchain

Government is tasked with rapid responses to new disruption. How can blockchain help your business network?

Bringing new levels of trust, transparency and efficiency to business relationships

Tracking mail, improving supply chains, better employee records management, faster disaster relief and more

Helping the Office of Personnel Management improve efficiency of employee record transfers between agencies

Improving supply chains crucial to the national defense

Coordinating public/ private efforts to aid in disaster recovery

IBM has earned accolades from leading analysts in bringing blockchain networks to life

IBM Blockchain meets you where you are

Our IBM Blockchain experts

Government, disruption and blockchain.

3 min read

Government is tasked with rapid responses to new disruption. How can blockchain help your business network?

Even before recent events, 74% of leaders like you agreed that traditional ways of doing business would not be sustainable in the future.

There’s no doubt we have entered an age of unparalleled disruption. Technology is at the root of much of this disruption — but it can also be the remedy. In the private sector, blockchain is already bringing newfound trust and transparency to enterprises working together in the food supply, supply chains, financial services, energy, identity and much more.

Government entities like yours conduct business in ways similar to private sector counterparts; you have the same needs for better collaboration, efficiency, security and data integrity. So it stands to reason that blockchain for business networks could also play a pivotal role in the digital transformation of government – and how you work.

IBM and government at the federal, state and local levels are working together to prove the initial value and incentives of participating in blockchain. They’re doing it with networks designed to transform the management of employee records, mission-sensitive supply chains, new application development – even how international mail is managed and tracked.

Each successful pilot brings government closer to a new era of scalable blockchain networks built on collaboration between participants and transformative new business processes. Let’s explore how it’s being done – as well as familiarizing you with some blockchain basics.

Art of a man using a digital desk to controll a floating representation of the government services

Building trust in government
Explore how blockchain can help relieve budgetary pressures, access and analyze data to more efficiently deliver services to citizens, and streamline transactions and asset management. Blockchain can facilitate the secure sharing of data between institutions and individuals – resulting in greater trust, transparency, and accountability.

Government is tasked with rapid responses to new disruption. How can blockchain help your business network?

Bringing new levels of trust, transparency and efficiency to business relationships

Tracking mail, improving supply chains, better employee records management, faster disaster relief and more

Helping the Office of Personnel Management improve efficiency of employee record transfers between agencies

Improving supply chains crucial to the national defense

Coordinating public/ private efforts to aid in disaster recovery

IBM has earned accolades from leading analysts in bringing blockchain networks to life

IBM Blockchain meets you where you are

Our IBM Blockchain experts

Blockchain: a brief overview

5 min read

Bringing new levels of trust, transparency and efficiency to business relationships

In traditional recordkeeping, different parties in a transaction keep different records. But if a conflict arises – and the parties can’t agree why – who’s right?

A blockchain for business network provides the answer through distributed ledger technology (DLT). With it, all network participants agree to the details of a transaction as it happens, relying on a shared ledger distributed across all parties. This alleviates the duplication and disagreements of separate records, and also prevents attacks against a centralized ledger.

Each record becomes a block with a unique identifying hash. By linking those blocks together into a chain of records, we get the name “blockchain.” What’s more, each record is immutable – once it’s on the blockchain, it’s there permanently. The only way to reverse it is if all parties in the original transaction agree to an opposite transaction to undo the previous one.

Blockchain's spokesman speaking on the side of multiple tables graph

Watch blockchain as described by IBM Food Trust (01:24)

Blockchain also provides the benefit of automated speed through smart contracts – representing a set of business rules – written into the blockchain code itself. These smart contracts trigger actions between network participants, eliminating many of the manual processes that have long plagued many business relationships.

Although there are different types of blockchain networks, a blockchain for business network is typically permissioned, meaning that the participants are known to each other – just as you’d want to know who you’re doing business with.

Blockchain for business networks bring new levels of trust, transparency and efficiency to business relationships. It’s a new way for separate entities to work together in pursuit of shared values and objectives.

Government is tasked with rapid responses to new disruption. How can blockchain help your business network?

Bringing new levels of trust, transparency and efficiency to business relationships

Tracking mail, improving supply chains, better employee records management, faster disaster relief and more

Helping the Office of Personnel Management improve efficiency of employee record transfers between agencies

Improving supply chains crucial to the national defense

Coordinating public/ private efforts to aid in disaster recovery

IBM has earned accolades from leading analysts in bringing blockchain networks to life

IBM Blockchain meets you where you are

Our IBM Blockchain experts

Blockchain for business in government now

1 min read

Tracking mail, improving supply chains, better employee records management, faster disaster relief and more

Baggage truck on an airport pulling two baggage carts in front of an airplane

Pallets of international mail travel to and from the U.S. onboard major airline carriers, traversing a long and logistically-challenging path. Tracking that mail and ensuring proper remittance back to the airlines has always been a challenge. So the USPS, multiple air carriers and IBM have collaborated on a successful blockchain pilot that powers alerts, automates contract governance, and provides predictive analytical frameworks for the international mail ecosystem. The pilot is serving as a trusted analytics platform for operational data to reduce manual effort in payments and mail management, providing new data sets across traditional silos at the USPS, multiple air carriers, and eventually, foreign posts. As the USPS faces unprecedented transportation challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, the platform has been leveraged dynamically to push timely, trusted reporting to transportation specialists across the organization.

Government is tasked with rapid responses to new disruption. How can blockchain help your business network?

Bringing new levels of trust, transparency and efficiency to business relationships

Tracking mail, improving supply chains, better employee records management, faster disaster relief and more

Helping the Office of Personnel Management improve efficiency of employee record transfers between agencies

Improving supply chains crucial to the national defense

Coordinating public/ private efforts to aid in disaster recovery

IBM has earned accolades from leading analysts in bringing blockchain networks to life

IBM Blockchain meets you where you are

Our IBM Blockchain experts

1 min read

Helping the Office of Personnel Management improve efficiency of employee record transfers between agencies

Woman using a notebook computer with a cup on her side

It’s not uncommon for federal employees to change jobs. But their employee records typically stay at agencies they’ve worked with, making it difficult for employees to access and coordinate records across different jobs. In response, IBM has helped the Office of Personnel Management create a blockchain Proof of Concept to transform how employee digital records are managed. The Federal EDR business network handles cross-agency HR functions to ensure data privacy and security against non-permissioned users. It also helps ensures record integrity by preventing tampering or improper access, and facilitates data sharing to reduce manual effort and processing.

Government is tasked with rapid responses to new disruption. How can blockchain help your business network?

Bringing new levels of trust, transparency and efficiency to business relationships

Tracking mail, improving supply chains, better employee records management, faster disaster relief and more

Helping the Office of Personnel Management improve efficiency of employee record transfers between agencies

Improving supply chains crucial to the national defense

Coordinating public/ private efforts to aid in disaster recovery

IBM has earned accolades from leading analysts in bringing blockchain networks to life

IBM Blockchain meets you where you are

Our IBM Blockchain experts

1 min read

Improving supply chains crucial to the national defense

U.s. Marines Prepare To Board A Ch-53e Print

Blockchain is bringing new transparency to supply chains worldwide. So IBM and the Department of Defense (DoD) are investigating how blockchain can improve supply chains crucial to the national defense. The collaboration is revealing how blockchain can be used to ensure secure, timely procurement of quality goods; greater trust in supplier and vendor choices; immediate data sharing for accurate analytics; more precise inventory insights for readiness in mission areas; and auditability of crucial supply chain steps through automated smart contracts.

Government is tasked with rapid responses to new disruption. How can blockchain help your business network?

Bringing new levels of trust, transparency and efficiency to business relationships

Tracking mail, improving supply chains, better employee records management, faster disaster relief and more

Helping the Office of Personnel Management improve efficiency of employee record transfers between agencies

Improving supply chains crucial to the national defense

Coordinating public/ private efforts to aid in disaster recovery

IBM has earned accolades from leading analysts in bringing blockchain networks to life

IBM Blockchain meets you where you are

Our IBM Blockchain experts

1 min read

Coordinating public/ private efforts to aid in disaster recovery

Hurricane victim looking out the window of her home that is being rebuilt

Two years have passed since Hurricane Harvey roared ashore in Texas and Louisiana. Yet thousands of local-area residents are still struggling to navigate a myriad of public and private relief processes, thwarted by complexity, opacity and confusion. So IBM is bringing together government agencies, private insurers, community partners and others through blockchain to simplify, standardize and speed the steps needed in seeking relief.

Government is tasked with rapid responses to new disruption. How can blockchain help your business network?

Bringing new levels of trust, transparency and efficiency to business relationships

Tracking mail, improving supply chains, better employee records management, faster disaster relief and more

Helping the Office of Personnel Management improve efficiency of employee record transfers between agencies

Improving supply chains crucial to the national defense

Coordinating public/ private efforts to aid in disaster recovery

IBM has earned accolades from leading analysts in bringing blockchain networks to life

IBM Blockchain meets you where you are

Our IBM Blockchain experts

How your government entity can get started

3 min read

IBM has earned accolades from leading analysts in bringing blockchain networks to life

Floating cuboids with icons representing the services above them

IBM Blockchain can help your business network unlock new levels of trust, transparency, efficiency and collaboration.

Across offices, bureaus and agencies, we’re helping to build new and enhanced digital networks to accomplish broader and more challenging missions through shared, trusted and secure data among permissioned participants.

In turn, these networks can lead to increased accountability and public satisfaction, while securing and improving critical infrastructure across supply chains, financial and audit management, food and materials safety, crisis readiness and more.

IBM has earned accolades from leading analysts in bringing networks like these to life, with our focus on the three most critical design points in achieving blockchain success: governance, business value and technology.

Wherever you are in your blockchain journey, turn to more than 1,600 IBM industry and technical experts with insights from 100+ live networks to improve the business networks you rely on – and to better serve the constituents who rely on you.

Clients value IBM’s ability to bring an integrated services and solutions offering...Based on the analysis, IBM emerged as a leader.

- Everest Group PEAK Matrix™ for Enterprise Blockchain Services 2020

...the flag bearer of enterprise blockchain with a significant number of live blockchain networks.

- HFS Top 10 Enterprise Blockchain Services

IBM is clearly regarded as having the strongest credentials in the blockchain sector, well ahead of competitors.

- Juniper Research Blockchain Enterprise Survey

Government is tasked with rapid responses to new disruption. How can blockchain help your business network?

Bringing new levels of trust, transparency and efficiency to business relationships

Tracking mail, improving supply chains, better employee records management, faster disaster relief and more

Helping the Office of Personnel Management improve efficiency of employee record transfers between agencies

Improving supply chains crucial to the national defense

Coordinating public/ private efforts to aid in disaster recovery

IBM has earned accolades from leading analysts in bringing blockchain networks to life

IBM Blockchain meets you where you are

Our IBM Blockchain experts

Improving business networks in government with blockchain

1 min read

IBM Blockchain meets you where you are

Mark Fisk speaking

Watch: How blockchain can support government effectiveness (14:38)

Government is tasked with rapid responses to every new disruption. Wherever you are in your blockchain journey, IBM Blockchain will meet you there – and help take your government organization where you want to go.

With intelligent workflows there is going to be a push to add automation and new processes that will require a new source of truth.

- Mark Fisk, Partner, Public Service Blockchain Leader, IBM

Government is tasked with rapid responses to new disruption. How can blockchain help your business network?

Bringing new levels of trust, transparency and efficiency to business relationships

Tracking mail, improving supply chains, better employee records management, faster disaster relief and more

Helping the Office of Personnel Management improve efficiency of employee record transfers between agencies

Improving supply chains crucial to the national defense

Coordinating public/ private efforts to aid in disaster recovery

IBM has earned accolades from leading analysts in bringing blockchain networks to life

IBM Blockchain meets you where you are

Our IBM Blockchain experts

About the authors

1 min read

Our IBM Blockchain experts

Mark Fisk portrait

Mark Fisk

Partner, Public Service Blockchain Leader, IBM

Mark Fisk is a Partner in Global Business Services focused on blockchain in the public service industry. As leader of IBM’s Public Service Blockchain initiatives, Mark is leveraging his 25 years of experience in the public sector working with federal and state governments to help determine where and how blockchain can uniquely increase value while improving trust, transparency, and accountability in today’s government business networks.

His work in blockchain education, analysis of blockchain’s applicability to address public sector dilemmas, and in the leadership of several high-visibility blockchain proofs-of-concept and production pilots within the public sector have helped pave the way to realizing the true value of blockchain for his clients and move beyond the peak of the hype curve with this transformative capability.