There has been considerable hype about the possibilities of blockchain technology, with claims that it will ‘revolutionise’ business.
But a new report from Gartner has found that organisations in the supply chain are struggling to identify how best to use the technology. It predicts that by 2023, 90% of blockchain-based supply chain initiatives will suffer ‘blockchain fatigue’ due to a lack of strong use cases.
“Supply chain blockchain projects have mostly focused on verifying authenticity, improving traceability and visibility, and improving transactional trust,” explained Alex Pradhan, senior principal research analyst at Gartner. “However, most have remained pilot projects due to a combination of technology immaturity, lack of standards, overly ambitious scope and a misunderstanding of how blockchain could, or should, actually help the supply chain. Inevitably, this is causing the market to experience blockchain fatigue.”
Among those exploring its potential, many companies end up running multiple development pilots using trial and error to find ones that might provide value.
A major challenge is the lack of a vibrant market for commercial blockchain applications, which leaves most companies in the dark when it comes to evaluating solutions, Pradhan added.
Gartner advised organisations to remain cautious about early adoption and not to rush into making blockchain work in their supply chain until there is a clear distinction between hype and the core capability of the technology.
There is a tendency to ‘overhype’ and overuse nascent technology and blockchain has not been immune to this, according to a 2018 paper by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology.
“Moving forward, it is likely that the hype will die down, and blockchain technology will become just another tool that can be used,” the agency said.
“Organisations should treat blockchain technology like they would any other technological solution at their disposal – use it only in appropriate situations.”
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