CIOs, you’re doing blockchain wrong

Companies are keen to try blockchain to address key business needs such as efficient transactions and immutable audit trails. But many aren't taking advantage of the distributed ledger's most innovative features.

IT leaders who've taken the plunge into blockchain are mainly deploying it in proofs-of-concept tests to address the same problems a conventional database could handle, according to research firm Gartner.

Relying on a survey of consulting firms whose clients had deployed some form of blockchain, Gartner found that CIOs are using blockchain for shared record keeping and asset tracking. They're not using it as a decentralized ledger able to support immutable data audit trails for exchanging a single version of transactional truth – the core mission at the heart of blockchain.

For many, blockchain remains a technology in search of a problem, Gartner said in a research note.

"That no one is using those innovative features calls into question why they're using blockchain. Just go use a database," said Avivah Litan, a Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst. "But, the reason they're using blockchain is for the distributed ledger technology."

The perception that the technology is not meeting business expectations has resulted in a palpable disillusionment among IT leaders because of the misalignment of blockchain expectations with the real-world requirements of enterprise projects. The problem also stems from a simple fact: blockchain is not yet mature enough for all enterprise use cases.

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