Global Blockchain Adoption Still Low, Gartner Survey Finds

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Adoption and interest in blockchain technology by global information company information officers is low, says Gartner in its 2018 CIO Survey, although executives from telecom, insurance and financial services have shown keenness in planning to adopt the decentralized technology.

Although financial services and insurance companies have been front-runners to blockchain activity across the world, Gartner said the transportation, government, and utilities sectors are now becoming more engaged due to the heavy focus on process efficiency, supply chain, and logistics problem-solving opportunities.

For most telecom companies, the interest in blockchain technology stems from the desire to “own the infrastructure wires” and to grasp the consumer payment opportunity it presents. This cements the widely held sentiment that interest in distributed ledger technology (DLT), the backbone of cryptocurrencies, is picking up across the world.

However, only one percent of CIOs surveyed by Gartner “indicated any kind of blockchain adoption within their organizations” while only about eight percent were in short-term planning or active experimentation with blockchain.

“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, vice president and fellow at Gartner.

Despite the touted growth in global interest in DLT, Gartner further states that as much as 77 percent of the CIOs it surveyed had indicated that their organization had “no interest in the technology and/or no action planned to investigate or develop” it.

According to Furlonger, blockchain should be adopted and implemented carefully. Any rushed move to adopt and deploy the tech solution “could lead organizations to significant problems of failed innovation, wasted investment, rash decisions and even rejection” of the technology.

Only about 23 percent of the 263 global CIOs polled for the survey and whose organizations had already invested in blockchain initiatives viewed the technology as requiring new skills to implement than any technology area. Others said skills to deploy and manage this category of solutions “were the most difficult” to find while there is also a need to restructure the IT departments of companies 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,” the report said.

“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,” concluded Furlonger.

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