Gartner: Corporate Blockchain Won’t Take Off for Another Decade
Hype comes with a placebo effect, and this effect is real. It makes people do irrational things, ignore facts and make the wrong decisions.
That is why I take reports like this very seriously. As usual, Gartner does a great job, thoroughly analyzing where blockchain technology is in the cycle, and what the future may look like. However…
Let’s be careful about a different kind of hype
The fear of experimenting kind of hype.
In summary, for a business leader with a brand reputation to grow and protect, these things could be red flags:
- Companies have flooded the media with reports of using blockchain;
- These were mostly tests that were done only for the sake of publicity
- the term “blockchain” is deemed one of the most misused buzzwords of 2018
The report concludes that the market will begin to climb out of this phase by 2021 and to live up to its promise of enabling a digital business revolution across business ecosystems – we might have to wait until 2028.
A decade is a very short timeframe
In the 2010-2012 period, I had the pleasure of working with several large(st) automotive and aerospace OEMs, on designing cloud-based solutions to their current and future problems in a few areas, namely products, materials and chemicals management. This was new for all of us.
It took about a decade for Enterprise SaaS to take off, and still, large enterprises are still in transition.
What I can do as a consumer using my smartphone – a large company can only dream of. I can book, bid, auction, settle, rent, share, use, utilize, products and services internationally with just a few clicks or taps. Here is a slide from one of my recent decks:
Good publicity reduces brand innovation risk
Relevance has value. With this in mind, I believe that the report could have addressed a few things a bit differently:
- The potential scope of transformation (a.k.a. disruption) is such that a 10-year cycle isn’t unreasonable – Enterprise Cloud/SaaS transformation is still in progress
- Its more than tech: using digital tools to formalize relationships, processes, trade, finance, compliance, and more – is NEW for everyone
- Using “Publicity” and “announcements” is a way for enterprises to reduce the risk of innovation, (see Daring to go first)
- Non-competitive issues: tackling social and environmental challenges is a great way to brings stakeholders, competitors, and partners, on board.
- Publicity and announcements signal that co-creation is the new norm and co-opetition is a natural way forward (this is also new)
- What’s the alternative to the hype, the media, and experimentation? Blockchain solutions must be co-imagined, co-created, co-governed. This is risky, hard work that cannot be replaced by analysis, reports & committees…
Move slow and redesign how the world works
Essentially any and every issue that extends beyond the walls of your company is a coordination challenge. Blockchain is a coordination technology.
Here’s a scope: thousands of coordination challenges; supply chain, finance, the identity of people and things, ownership & custody; procurement; compliance process automation, legal frameworks, health, social and environmental issues; I’ll stop here (but I could keep going)
Here’s a deadline: October 2028.
Here’s a question: If this was your scope and deadline, when would you have started with blockchain, and what would you start with?
I would love to see your answers in the comments.
*orginally posted on Linkedin here