IoT and Blockchain: Improve asset visibility and compliance

By and Tom Sarasin | 2 minute read | March 5, 2019

We continue to connect and instrument our physical world. As we do so, more and more opportunities arise to ensure that our assets and processes are performing well, and within regulatory limits. Using the IoT and blockchain, organizations can now improve asset visibility and compliance to ensure regulators and third parties are in sync.

Customers who manage assets often leverage manual or point-to-point processes as a way to keep their systems in sync with those of the regulators and third parties. These current processes introduce opportunity for error and also allow for potential fraud in documentation. As more assets require third party oversight, costs and opportunity for error increase. Customers need the ability to show compliance from their systems. This provide transparency and increases trust among the partners (i.e. regulators, third parties) in their network.

Designing solutions to improve trust with IoT and blockchain

At IBM, we have focused on helping our customers manage assets by continuing to expand the value of Maximo, the market-leading enterprise asset management platform. In 2017, we launched an additional asset health insights offering to provide business level insights of key assets, by combing sensor data, financial data, weather data, maintenance history and more! And in late 2018 we integrated Maximo with the IBM Blockchain, providing a secure and transparent way to improve trust. Our customers now have a trusted business-level view to help decide if they should maintain or replace a specific asset.

This decision to repair or replace often impacts their customers or partners. At times, there are also specific regulatory requirements which may impact that decision. To address this requirement, companies need to work together as part of a larger network of companies and organizations. The IBM Blockchain provides a strong foundation for business networks. By integrating with Maximo, it allows partners to use their own capabilities to access the blockchain; to receive work orders, upload certifications, validate location, and to update information about an asset and its condition. Those workflows are then translated into smart contracts on a blockchain. By doing this, we enable appropriate visibility, transparency and integration across the whole business network. This is true for the entire asset lifecycle, from acquisition to disposal.

A demonstration using blockchain and a bridge

To demonstrate an asset compliance example, we worked with AT&T’s Asset Management Operations Center (AMOC) which allows customers to track and manage their mobile connected assets, to create an offering for their clients to use IBM Maximo, IBM Maximo APM – Asset Health Insights, and IBM Maximo Network on Blockchain to detect and manage changes in a remotely monitored asset, like a bridge. In this case, this bridge has the regulatory requirement to have safety inspections and remediation whenever cracks are detected. They are able to use sensors to monitor the condition of the bridge for telltale signs of cracking. Watch the demo video below to see it in action.


AT&T & IBM Maximo: Collaborative Approach to Operations. Watch the video.

The video shows you how data collected from the bridge sensors can raise alerts in Asset Health Insights, triggering a work order in Maximo, and using the smart contract on the blockchain to be actioned by a third-party inspector.

Learn more about IoT and blockchain for asset management

For more information on how your company can benefit from blockchain with your business networks, visit the Getting Started content or read this IBM Maximo Network on Blockchain solution brief.

We will also be talking blockchain at the IBM IoT Exchange in April. Register today!