Business Development

The very best way to get started with blockchain

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One of the most successful best practices I’ve been seeing lately around enterprise blockchain is not really a new concept at all. We do it whenever we have something new to tackle — something that’s important to us and our business.

It’s the best practice of creating a “center of excellence.” A center of excellence is defined as a team, shared facility or entity that provides leadership, best practices, research, support and/or training for a focus area. So why not create one for blockchain?

Call it a new center. Call it a new department. Call it a brand new team. Call it anything you want.

But here’s what makes it successful:

  • It’s internal. Dirty laundry isn’t shared outside of the organization.
  • It’s low risk. It’s a place to try things out. In the case of blockchain, it’s a place to get hands-on experience with different fabrics, different platforms, such as Hyperledger on the IBM Blockchain Platform.
  • It’s a perfect place to explore blockchain use cases. Lots of them.
  • It’s for testing. A pilot. A first project. Many organizations use an internal blockchain app such as a loyalty program with just a few nodes as a start. Keep it simple but with a large enough return on investment.
  • It’s a diverse, dedicated team. It can include developers, architects, lines of business experts. It can grow as you scale up and out.

I’ve visited clients in the healthcare industry, in financial services, in government, in research.  The blockchain use cases and fabrics may vary, but the common thread for success has been a center of excellence. The center of excellence brings a laser focus to the work, which is key to implementing any emerging technology.

Last month, I was sitting around the table with some blockchain developers, discussing best practices. I’d just started to talk about the center of excellence concept, when smiles and laughter erupted all around me. At first, I thought that someone must have pulled up something funny on their phone, but the joke was on me. You see, they’d just created a blockchain center of excellence in their business that very week.

Contact our blockchain experts from the IBM Systems Client Centers for more best practices.

And learn more about IBM Blockchain at the upcoming IBM Systems TechU, April 30 to May 4 in Orlando.

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