The enterprise shows little interest in blockchain technology: Gartner

Gartner says that the majority of enterprise players have no intention to develop or use distributed ledger technologies.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Blockchain technology adoption in the enterprise is limping along at only one percent with the majority of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) displaying little interest in the technology.

According to research firm Gartner, only one percent of CIOs indicate there is any kind of blockchain-related projects or systems within their organizations, and only eight percent are in the stages of short-term planning or experimentation with blockchain.

Gartner's 2018 CIO Survey suggests that 77 percent of CIOs believe their companies have no interest in the technology at all, and no plans to develop any uses for distributed ledgers.

Blockchain, also known as distributed ledger technologies, involves the use of time-stamped, transparent records of transactions which are distributed across "nodes" -- computers -- in a network chain, which makes these records very difficult to tamper with or compromise.


Many companies are already working with the blockchain, including IBM, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, and Visa.

There is an endless range of possibilities in uses of the blockchain, including cross-border payments, smart contracts for the sale and purchase of assets, secure record-keeping, medical records, and the simplification of supply chains.

"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," said David Furlonger, Gartner vice president.

However, the executive has also advised caution, as rushing headlong into experiments with any kind of new technology always has risk which may lead to wasted time and investment.

Without proper planning, this may also result in the dismissal of technologies which can otherwise benefit a company's business and future prospects.

According to the survey, out of 293 CIOs which are interested in the blockchain, 23 percent said that blockchain poses challenges due to a lack of skilled help in the implementation of distributed ledger projects.

In addition, 13 percent of survey respondents said blockchain solutions require radical changes to the structure of IT departments.

See also: Cryptocurrency miners bought 3 million GPUs in 2017

Implementing the blockchain is not just about technological aspects as developers must have a thorough grounding in security, laws, value exchange, decentralized systems, and more -- which often goes beyond the traditional structure of IT in the enterprise.

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

However, not every industry is equally as dismissive of blockchain technologies.

CIOs from the telecom, insurance, and financial services industries indicated they were more interested than most in the potential of the blockchain.

"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," Furlonger said.

According to IDC, global spending on blockchain solutions is expected to reach $2.1 billion in 2018 and an estimated $9.7 billion by 2021.

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