6 Blockchain Use Cases for Modern Enterprises

The number of blockchain use cases is huge. Compared to existing systems, blockchains are faster, cheaper, more reliable and much more secure.

Within this blog, I’ll talk about blockchain use cases in today’s enterprises and the benefits they bring, compared to existing systems. Implementation of these use cases would bring about a new form of enterprise and change their way of delivering value to customers. 

[Note: While I’m confident that the readers of this blog would be aware of what blockchain is, for those of you who don’t or would just like a refresher, this helped me.]

Let’s look at some blockchain use cases that can be useful for today’s enterprises. I’ll try to stick to as much plain-speak as possible.

Blockchain use cases for modern enterprises:

  • #1 Change management:

Change management is a process that occupies a lot of time and man-hours. Change management requires CAB meetings, debate on the pros and cons of the change, to find a suitable time slot for implementing the change and much more.

If change management were to be managed using a blockchain, the whole process could be automated. If the change receives an appropriate number of votes from the CAB members, it can automatically be deployed in a time slot which can be allotted by the blockchain.

  • #2 CMDB: 

Traditional CMDBs require manual updation upon every change in the Configuration Items. Every new CI needs to be added manually or through some discovery tool. Every device needs credential provisioning. The cost (both human and monetary) to maintain the CMDB is known to be quite high.

As detailed in this presentation, a Distributed Ledger (DL) can help build accountability, trust and discovery into the CMDB. A DL records changes in CIs automatically as transactions. Change, incident and problem management are recorded as transactions in the CMDB by default.

  • #3 Shadow IT

Employees often buy software tools without informing or raising a request with IT. They may not think too much of it while buying these tools, but these can be an area of concern, compromising network security for the enterprise.

If all assets are part of a blockchain, any unauthorized installation will be recorded in the DL and flagged for follow up.

  • #4 Governance

Conventional governance works in a hierarchical, top-down manner. It is not a representative democracy that is in charge of the decisions taking place in the boardroom. There are often conflicting incentives behind controversial decisions [Read: Facebook selling user data].

Reimagine governance in a blockchain-based, truly representative manner. Decisions can be set up with smart contracts, to be executed automatically if and when consensus is reached. 

  • #5 Integration of IoT devices: 

Internet of Things devices are quite new. Which means they are vulnerable to security threats. You wouldn’t want your network breached because of your brand new smart bulb, would you?

Internet of Things devices can be a part of the CMDB on the DL like any other CI and even be managed with Smart Contracts. Your smart bulb would know when its lease is expiring and send you an email to renew its contract or it’ll stop functioning. My example may not sound exciting, but the implications sure are!

  • #6 Security

In large enterprises, it can be difficult to keep track of employees bringing and using their personal, unauthorized machines on the office network. They can potentially harm the network and every other device on it, without knowing any better. 

If all authorized devices are part of a blockchain, all unauthorized devices can be banned from connecting to the network. Although this can be implemented using a simple ACL as well, that leaves only one system to be tampered with, to violate the org’s security. Whereas, if this solution were to be implemented using a blockchain, that would mean an unauthorized device’s entry will have to be approved by a majority of devices across the org. This way, an unauthorized device can be easily identified, stopped, and even located in the building by figuring out which devices it contacted first. Suggested Reading.

Bonus blockchain use case:

  • #7 (More) Security:

With every action being recorded as a transaction on the DL, organizations will have access to rich, contextual data for training Machine Learning models. This can be used to identify and flag unusual behavior on the network. Policies can be programmed to trigger Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) or isolate the device any time unusual behavior is detected. 

The quality of data can further be improved with the implementation of a Zero Trust Framework (or Architecture). Succinctly, “never trust, always verify”. Every user is authenticated, every device is verified and the minimum, necessary privileges are granted to users. This will provide granularity into the workforce’s usage patterns and behavior. 

Blockchain use cases to inspire trust

While all the above issues may seem like they can be solved using existing systems and reporting, that leaves them prone to a central point of failure. These use cases would eliminate a centralized point of failure. It will reinvent the way we place trust in these systems as factors like security and privacy will be built into these systems by design.

I should mention that I’m not an expert on blockchain technology. Quite far from it, actually. All the thoughts and opinions stated in this blog are mine and don’t represent Freshservice or Freshworks. So if you have brickbats to chuck, contact me at ankit.ranjan@freshworks.com.


Cover image by Nidhi