Gartner gives pessimistic reading of blockchain deployments in CIO survey

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

While blockchain technologies and ICOs are certainly in vogue right now, the fascination hasn’t quite reached CIO level yet.

That’s the verdict of analyst firm Gartner following the company’s latest CIO Survey. Only 1% of the more than 3,000 chief information officers polled said they had any kind of blockchain adoption or presence within their organisations, while only 8% said they had short-term plans or active experimentation.

One in three (34%) said they had no interest whatsoever in the technology, while 43% of respondents said it was on the radar, but no action was planned. Of those who did have some short-term plans in place, one in four (23%) said blockchain required the most new skills to implement out of any area, while a further 14% said it required the greatest change in the culture of the IT department.

According to Gartner, while initiatives featuring blockchain technology discuss the potential of transforming industries, it is clear traditional lines of business and organisation silos will have to be changed as it comes in.

Blockchain requires understanding of security, law, value exchange, decentralised governance, process and commercial architectures, according to David Furlonger, vice president and Gartner Fellow. Furlonger added that it wasn’t just getting employees with the right skills on board which was the issue – it was scaling it up going forwards.

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

Gartner added that it saw telecoms, insurance and financial services being the most engaged in blockchain technologies.


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