Emerging technologies are very much a gamble for business, and when it comes to blockchain technology in particular it appears business decision-makers aren’t as excited about it as those working with the technology are.

Research from Gartner’s 2018 CIO Survey reveals that only eight percent of chief information officers (CIOs) were planning to use – or experiment with – blockchain in the near future.

What’s more is that 34 percent of CIOs say they have no interest in blockchain technology at all, and 43 percent say that while the tech is on their radar, they have no plans for it yet.

This lack of interest might stem not only from a lack of understanding of the tech, but also the challenges that new and emerging technologies present. That being said, Gartner vice president David Furlonger cautions that while rushing headfirst into blockchain developments might indeed prove costly, it’s still important to gain an understand of the tech.

“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,” says Furlonger.

A culture change

One of the main factors holding back widespread adoption of blockchain technologies – at least in the realm of business – is the cost. As many as 23 percent of CIOs say that blockchain development requires the newest skills out of all technologies.

A further 14 percent of CIOs surveyed said that blockchain implementation would require a change in their IT department culture, while 13 percent indicated that the structure of IT departments would have to shift dramatically.

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

There are, however, some sectors that are experimenting and embracing blockchain development, says Gartner.: CIOs in the telecom, finance, insurance and financial services sectors, for instance, are very active in the blockchain space.

“While many industries indicate an initial interest in blockchain initiatives, 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,” concluded Furlonger.

 

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.