Blockchain is “massively hyped” relative to deployments: Gartner

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A mere 1 per cent of CIOs have invested in and deployed blockchain within their organisations to this point, with only 8 per cent engaged in short-term planning or active experimentation with the technology, according to a new Gartner report.

Gartner’s CIO Survey 2018, which surveyed 3000 CIOs, revealed that while 14 per cent of responding organisations are in medium or long-term planning for blockchain, the vast majority are simply not there yet.

The survey found that 43 per cent of CIOs said blockchain was on their radar but they had no action planned at this point, while 34 per cent of respondents said they had no interest in the technology at all.

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

CIOs from telecom, insurance, and financial services reported being the most actively engaged in blockchain planning and experimentation.

Among the 293 CIOs of organisations that reported being in short-term planning or having already invested in blockchain:

  • 23 per cent said that implementing blockchain requires the most new skills of any technology area
  • 18 per cent said that blockchain skills are the most difficult to find
  • 14 per cent said that blockchain requires the greatest change in the culture of the IT department
  • 13 per cent said that implementing blockchain will necessitate a change in the structure of the IT department

In fact, Blockchain will bring about changes in the fundamental structure of organisations.

“Blockchain technology requires understanding of, at a fundamental level, aspects of security, law, value exchange, decentralised governance, process and commercial architectures,” said Furlonger. “It therefore implies that traditional lines of business and organisation silos can no longer operate under their historical structures.”

Furlonger said despite initial interest in blockchain by organisations, “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.”

Rushing into blockchain deployments could pose numerous challenges, according to Furlonger, who pointed to an anticipated lack of engineers to move the technology forward as well as problems of failed innovation, wasted investment, rash decisions, and even total rejection of the technology.

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