New skills and major culture changes in IT environment among top challenges to blockchain adoption: Gartner’s 2018 CIO survey

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Blockchain is the technology that is likely to have a significant impact on the world in next few decades. It is often considered as the most important invention since the internet. However, it has yet to even start making its mark on the enterprises, according to Gartner’s 2018 CIO survey.

  • Only 1% organizations currently using blockchain

Gartner reported that only 1% organizations were using blockchain technology in their business. Whereas, 8% organizations were either experimenting or had short-term plans to adopt it.

Blockchain, the technology that underlies cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum, is being looked as an investment that can lead organizations to several problems like failed innovation, wasted investment, rash decisions, etc.

A majority (77%) of the CIOs indicated that they either had no plans in place to adopt blockchain, or had no interest at all.

Gartner's 2018 CIO Survey

Image source: Gartner

  • Hyped state of blockchain

“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. “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.”

Gartner interpreted blockchain at the ‘Peak of Inflated Expectation’ on its Hype Scale curve. The Peak of Inflated Expectation suggests that early publicity produces a number of success stories, often accompanied by scores of failures.

Gartner's 2018 CIO Survey

  • Top challenges to blockchain adoption

Of the CIOs who said that they had either already implemented or had short-term plans to adopt blockchain, 23% said that blockchain technology needed new skills for implementation.

18% of them indicated that the blockchain skills were the most difficult to find. Furthermore, 14% CIOs said that it needed major culture changes in IT environment, while 13% said that blockchain implementation needed structural changes in IT environment.

“The challenge for CIOs is not just finding and retaining qualified engineers, but finding enough to accommodate growth in resources as blockchain developments grow,” said Mr. Furlonger. “Qualified engineers may be cautious due to the historically libertarian and maverick nature of the blockchain developer community.”

CIOs also believed that the adoption of blockchain in their organizations will need to have changes to the operating and business models as well.

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

  • Telcos, insurance and finance industries interested in blockchain

Gartner also found that telecom, insurance and financial services industries were more actively involved in blockchain as compared to other industries.

Blockchain also held the attention of transportation, government, and utilities sector for process efficiency, supply chain and logistics opportunities.

Also read: CEOs shifting their focus to digital business to accelerate growth: Gartner CEO survey

“While many industries indicate an initial interest in blockchain initiatives, it remains to be seen whether they will accept decentralized, distributed, tokenized networks, or stall as they try to introduce blockchain into legacy value streams and systems,” Mr. Furlonger concluded.

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