3 ways blockchain will enhance your asset management efforts

By | 4 minute read | September 18, 2018

An introduction to blockchain

In today’s digitally networked world, no single institution works in isolation. And because of this, failure of business systems and processes increasingly originates from a complex mix of social and technical factors. These include system integration, data capture, and human error or omission. In this blog, we explore how IBM Maximo Network on Blockchain can help.

As we race to capture and create new value, optimize business ecosystems, and reduce risk, our systems need to become more adaptive and resilient. They must adapt to manage complexity introduced by broader computing and partnering ecosystems, including new interactions driven by the IoT and AI.

One way of being more adaptive is to address system diversity using innovative technologies like blockchain. By infusing business networks with blockchain technology, diverse systems can interact seamlessly. Processes can transcend individual organizations, eliminating issues created by inefficiencies or lack of trust and transparency.  All of these improvements can streamline the exchange of value along your ecosystem.

What is blockchain?

Blockchain is a shared ledger technology. Ledgers are simply places where we record business transactions like orders, payments, activities and even maintenance, repairs and replacements. In distributed relationships, participants have his or her own ledger — and, thus, a version of the truth that may differ from other participants. These multiple ledgers can be a recipe for error, fraud and inefficiency. But because members on a blockchain share a common view of the truth that is immutable, it’s now possible to see all details of a transaction end-to-end, reducing those variations and vulnerabilities.

The use of managed (or permissioned) blockchains, such as the IBM Blockchain, provide new opportunities for organizations to collaborate systematically in areas like asset management. Using shared ledgers, the trust and security associated with transactions held in a blockchain can extend asset management beyond traditional boundaries. By facilitating collaboration across stakeholders with an interest in a shared set of assets, blockchain can increase system diversity and resilience.

How can blockchain help in asset management

There are key ways in which blockchain can make an impact across your asset management efforts.

1) It enables open collaboration

In addition to creating resiliency, blockchain fosters open collaboration across your networks. By creating a system comprised of the technology and processes of 3rd party services providers and even internal systems, you create a new collaborative set of partnerships and processes. These revolve around a “single source of truth” for the required asset management activities, as opposed to one app or platform. This open approach makes adding new partners and guiding their interactions easier, and its all done through transactions managed by the blockchain.

2) It creates asset and transaction transparency

Transactions performed on a blockchain are immutable – they cannot be changed or altered without permission from the network. This means that all the activities that have been performed on an asset are verified and create an accurate record for asset managers to use. They use these records to analyze performance, risks and to make strategic decisions about their equipment as part of their planning cycles. This also makes sharing data, like asset history, across multiple providers and partners, more fluid and flexible .

3) It enforces consistency

By managing the way data is collected and shared across partners, it ensures consistent and complete records. This ensures that throughout an assets life, there are no questions created by incomplete or missing data. The ‘block’ must be verified by participants, and creation of it requires completion of agreed-upon rules. So if it is not in the blockchain, it never happened.

Introducing IBM Maximo Network on Blockchain

The IBM Maximo Network on Blockchain product is designed to complement the industry leading asset management capabilities already offered by Maximo. Traditionally, asset-related transactions are shared across a business network using interfaces between different systems of each party involved. Third parties carrying out work on a customer’s assets will often use systems that are isolated from Maximo. This means that much of the data surrounding these assets and transactions is not captured or shared. In some industries, regulators are increasingly looking for customers to proactively demonstrate compliance. Without connected systems, the burden of communication across multiple parties can be challenging.

What does IBM Maximo Network on Blockchain do?

With the release of the IBM Maximo Network on Blockchain, forward looking asset managers will benefit from the following features:

  •        Generation of “Smart Contracts” through Maximo
  •        Ability to capture status changes and general ledger transactions in a blockchain
  •        Embedded blockchain infrastructure
  •        Sample blockchain participant application
  •        Visibility of transactions from Maximo

How you can start your blockchain journey with Maximo

The IBM Maximo Network on Blockchain can be added to any current Maximo application. This allows for key EAM use cases to be supported across your network today. Areas where opportunities exist for Maximo customers to add value through this technology include:

  •        Plant and infrastructure maintenance where multiple parties are involved
  •        Establishing provenance of equipment and services across the asset supply chain
  •        Secure recording of safety related transactions, such as permits and incidents
  •        Management of damage and warranty related claims
  •        Managing the life-cycle of assets with significant trust and security requirements

Permissioned blockchain technology will continue to evolve and we anticipate that customers will progressively adapt their business processes to incorporate collaborative business networks based on the use of blockchain and Maximo. This has the potential to deliver increased efficiency and greater system resilience.

Learn More

As an asset manager, the ability to create stronger systems and partnerships across your asset lifecycle is critical. This enables you to drive asset performance, stay compliant, and deliver business results.

For more information on how to get started with the IBM Maximo Network on Blockchain, download our new solution brief.

For more information on how IBM Maximo is transforming enterprise asset management, visit: https://www.ibm.com/products/maximo.