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Reflections on Consensus 2019; Gartner’s Blockchain Special Report can help the dialogue

by Avivah Litan  |  May 20, 2019  |  Comments Off on Reflections on Consensus 2019; Gartner’s Blockchain Special Report can help the dialogue

I just got back from the Consensus Blockchain conference in NYC. It definitely reinforced my view that:

  1. Blockchain technology is still immature and not ‘enterprise-ready’. Still, a plethora of ongoing innovations will surely change that status over the next couple of years.
  2. Many organizations are still struggling to figure out what blockchain is good for other than cryptocurrency. Hopefully they will benefit from our new Gartner Special Blockchain report published today Blockchain Unraveled: Determining its Suitability for Your Organization.
  3. Regulated STOs (security tokens) promise to have a hugely positive impact on the crypto-industry.
  4. U.S. regulators seem overly- zealous about enforcing anti-money laundering rules among cryptocurrency-related entities (when compared with equally offensive non-crypto money laundering activities)

The most informative sessions I attended were presentations that elaborated on promising technical advances being fostered by innovative startups and organizations.

Emerging technology trends include:

  1. Blockchain platform independence for developers, so that they can be platform agnostic when developing applications that will run on any blockchain platform
  2. Advancement in blockchain middleware to make it easier to securely connect with external data and legacy systems
  3. Advancements in blockchain security to reduce reliance on single points of failure, i.e. single private keys, centralized oracles
  4. The Internet’s slow (but very welcome and exciting) move towards Web 3.0, a decentralized Web where consumers control their own data and identities and where blockchain technology plays a key role.

Organizations still trying to Figure Enterprise Blockchain out

In the meantime, most of the industry-related blockchain panels at Consensus pointed to ambivalence about the utility of blockchain and the critical factors that make blockchain projects a success or a flop.

To that end, we hope organizations will find our new special report on blockchain Blockchain Unraveled: Determining its Suitability for Your Organization useful.

Our report, authored by many Gartner analysts specializing in different areas and featuring new primary research by David Groombridge and Chrissy Healey that analyzes the progress of blockchain projects across the globe,  has three chapters to guide end users in their journeys, i.e.

    • Chapter 1: Aligning Blockchain Technology to your use cases
      • comprehensive 3-part decision tree to help clients decide if blockchain makes sense for them
      • analysis of common mistakes to avoid in blockchain projects
      • case studies to illustrate necessary ingredients for success
    • Chapter 2: Blockchain in Action across Industries
      • New primary research of over 800 live blockchain projects across the globe and industry sectors, with analysis of factors that contribute to success or failure
      • Close up analysis of blockchain and IoT integration to support transformative and unprecedented multi-party processes
    • Chapter 3: Aligning your Business and Operations to Blockchain
      • Analysis of business models, consortia and information on operating blockchain applications

Digital Transformation with Blockchain

What Difference Can Blockchain really Make?

Let’s answer by discussing one topic we all understand – food safety and quality!

Figure 1 from our Special report is a hypothetical example of using blockchain with IoT and other technologies to track organic beef as it transits from the cattle’s Argentinian ranch to the restaurant where a diner is finally consuming it.

Figure 1: Farm to Table; IoT and Blockchain Integration 

Tackling Rampant Food Poisoning

Using blockchain and other complementary technologies, the diner can be assured that the beef is indeed organic, free of pathogens that cause food poisoning, and was properly handled on its long journey to the final plate.

This is no small feat. The CDC estimates that in the U.S. alone (which generally has higher food safety standards), each year 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3000 actually die.

Blockchain may not yet represent a major digital revolution that eliminates all central authority, but it is a key technological pillar of incremental evolutionary benefits. We have a lot of hurdles to overcome to get to this – both technical and process-based – but the journey promises to be worthwhile.

Our new Special Report and our ongoing research hopes to put ‘meat’ into the dialogue by offering substantive frameworks and analysis to help move organizations forward.


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Avivah Litan
VP Distinguished Analyst
19 years at Gartner
34 years IT industry

Avivah Litan is a Vice President and Distinguished Analyst in Gartner Research. Ms. Litan's areas of expertise include endpoint security, security analytics for cybersecurity and fraud, user and entity behavioral analytics, and insider threat detection. Read Full Bio

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