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Mr Furlonger added that rushing into blockchain deployments could lead organisations to significant problems of failed innovation, wasted investment, rash decisions and even rejection of a game-changing technology.
Among 293 CIOs of organisations that are in short-term planning or have already invested in
blockchain initiatives, 23 per cent of CIOs said that blockchain requires the most new skills to implement of any technology area, while 18 per cent said that blockchain skills are the most difficult to find. A further 14 per cent indicated that blockchain requires the greatest change in the culture of the IT department, and 13 per cent believed that the structure of the IT department had to change in order 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," said Mr Furlonger. "Qualified engineers may be cautious due to the historically libertarian and maverick nature of the blockchain developer community."
CIOs also recognised that blockchain implementation will change the operating and business model of the organisations, and they indicated a challenge in being ready and able to accommodate this requirement. "Blockchain technology requires understanding of, at a fundamental level, aspects of security, law, value exchange, decentralised governance, process and commercial architectures," said Mr Furlonger. "It therefore implies that traditional lines of business and organisation silos can no longer operate under their historical structures."
Financial services and insurance companies lead the way
From an industry perspective, CIOs from telecom, insurance and financial services indicated being more actively involved in blockchain planning and experimentation than CIOs from other industries.
While financial services and insurance companies are at the forefront of this activity, the transportation, government and utilities sectors are now becoming more engaged due to the heavy focus on process efficiency, supply chain and logistics opportunities. For telecom companies, interest lies in a desire to "own the infrastructure wires" and grasp the consumer payment opportunity.
"Blockchain continues its journey on the Gartner Hype Cycle at the Peak of Inflated Expectations. How quickly different industry players navigate the Trough of Disillusionment will be as much about the psychological acceptance of the innovations that blockchain brings as the technology itself," said Mr Furlonger.
Business, governance and operating models, and designed and implemented predigital business will take time to re-engineer. This is because of the ramifications blockchain has concerning control and economics. "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," Mr Furlonger concluded.