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Blockchain adoption ‘massively hyped’ with just 1% CIOs investing

05 May 18

It’s been heralded as one of the more disruptive technologies to hit IT floors, but a Gartner study suggests blockchain is yet to gain real traction.

The research analyst giant surveyed 3,000 CIOs to find that only one percent indicated any type of blockchain adoption within their organisations, while only 8 percent were in short-term planning or active experimentation.

What’s more, a staggering 77 percent of CIOs surveyed indicated that they had no interest in the technology and have no plans to investigate or develop it.

"This year’s Gartner CIO Survey provides factual evidence about the massively hyped state of blockchain adoption and deployment,” says Gartner fellow and vice president David Furlonger.

"It is critical to understand what blockchain is and what it is capable of today, compared to how it will transform companies, industries and society tomorrow."

Furlonger also added that the lack of demand could be a good thing as rushing into blockchain deployments could lead organisations to significant problems of “failed innovation, wasted investment, rash decisions and even rejection of a game-changing technology.”

Among the 293 CIOs from organisations that are in short-term planning or have already invested in blockchain initiatives, 23 percent say that blockchain demands the most new skills to implement of any technology area, while 18 percent report that blockchain skills are the hardest to find.

There’s a further 14 percent that believe blockchain requires the greatest change in the culture of the IT department, while 13 percent assert that the structure of the IT department had to change in order to implement blockchain.

"The challenge for CIOs is not just finding and retaining qualified engineers, but finding enough to accommodate growth in resources as blockchain developments grow," says Furlonger.

"Qualified engineers may be cautious due to the historically libertarian and maverick nature of the blockchain developer community."

CIOs are aware that the implementation of blockchain will effectively change the operating and business model of their respective organisations, and that a challenge exists in being ready and able to accommodate this requirement.

"Blockchain technology requires understanding of, at a fundamental level, aspects of security, law, value exchange, decentralised governance, process and commercial architectures," says Furlonger.

"It therefore implies that traditional lines of business and organisation silos can no longer operate under their historical structures." 

In terms of industries, it’s the telecom, insurance, and financial sectors that are leading the way with more CIOs actively involved in blockchain planning and experimentation than CIOs from other industries.

However, the transportation, government and utilities sectors are now becoming more engaged largely because of the heavy focus on process efficiency, supply chain and logistics opportunities.

According to Gartner, business, governance and operating models – as well as designed and implemented predigital business – will take time to re-engineer because of the ramifications blockchain has concerning control and economics.

"Blockchain continues its journey on the Gartner Hype Cycle at the Peak of Inflated Expectations. How quickly different industry players navigate the Trough of Disillusionment will be as much about the psychological acceptance of the innovations that blockchain brings as the technology itself," says Furlonger. 

"While many industries indicate an initial interest in blockchain initiatives, it remains to be seen whether they will accept decentralised, distributed, tokenised networks, or stall as they try to introduce blockchain into legacy value streams and systems.”

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