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IoT integration is a Sweet Spot for Blockchain Per Gartner Survey

by Avivah Litan  |  December 5, 2019  |  8 Comments

The integration of IoT and Blockchain networks is a sweet spot for digital transformation and innovation.  It is actually moving ahead at a much faster space than expected, according to a recent Gartner Survey of over 500 U.S. companies.  75% of IoT technology adopters in the U.S. have already adopted blockchain or are planning to adopt it by the end of 2020.  Among the blockchain adopters, 86% are implementing the two technologies together in various projects. See Survey Analysis: IoT Adopters Embrace Blockchain for more information and Figure 1 below.

Figure 1:

 

So, while blockchain technology is hitting rock bottom of the Gartner Hype Cycle — i.e. the Trough of Disillusionment, promising projects such as those that combine IoT with Blockchain will start pushing it out into the “Slope of Enlightenment.” See Hype Cycle for Blockchain Technologies, 2019

Blockchain networks have emerged as a promising innovation because of their ability to affirm the integrity of data shared among constituents in multiparty process collaboration. IoT has emerged as a method for bridging the gap between resources (or “things”) and their associated business processes. Integrating IoT and blockchain supports trusted multiparty processes that bridge physical world things to business process computing environments. See Figure 2 for an illustration of how this can work.

Figure 2:

Business Drivers for Integrating IoT and Blockchain Technology

Indeed, among survey respondents, 63% indicated that the top benefit of their combined IoT/blockchain projects is increased security and trust in shared multiparty transactions and data. 56% said the top benefit is an increase in business efficiency and lower costs. Only 43% chose increase in revenue and business opportunities, while just 37% chose improved constituent or participant experience. See Figure 3 on Drivers.

Figure 3

A Word of Caution

Still, this combination of IoT and enterprise blockchain technologies is quite immature and faces many technical and business challenges. The relative volatility of blockchain implementations involving protocol changes may be a challenge for long-lived IoT devices. Some blockchain implementations struggle to scale to the transaction rates that can be generated by large numbers of connected things. In the long term, we expect the combination of IoT and blockchain to enable innovative devices and business models, but the necessary evolution in both blockchain and IoT will take five to 10 years to achieve maturity.

Early adopters will see early benefits but will also be paving the rocky road ahead of us, a potentially costly exercise. No Pain, No Gain.

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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


Thoughts on IoT integration is a Sweet Spot for Blockchain Per Gartner Survey


  1. Reuven says:

    Hi Avivah,

    I am interested in learning more of the report.

    -reuven

  2. Avivah Litan says:

    Hi Reuven,

    Sure please set up a call and also check out the report referred to in the blog for the full copy.

    Thanks.

  3. Hi Avivah, Great post, something interesting to know about the combination of IoT and Blockchain in Business Opportunities. Looking forward to your more stuff on Blockchain.

  4. Avivah Litan says:

    Thanks very much Celine and Happy 2020!

  5. Great summary. My word of advice to the business leaders and IoT integrators is to seek blockchain solutions / platforms that provide APIs to make it seamless to integrate with IoT devices. If you’re still exploring I recommend solutions that (a) start as a proof of concept and then (b) frictionlessly can move into production grade solution. And select the blockchain technology that will survive the rocky road. That would be (c) network technology with the largest growth and adoption to date and (d) technology that works in a permissioned (private) blockchain setup and in the public blockchain mode. Some blockchain technologies are designed to be private (permissioned) only. Keep that in mind too.

  6. Wandile Mnguni says:

    Hi Avivah,

    I’d like to engage you more on the topic. Do you mind?

    Regards,
    Wandi

  7. Avivah Litan says:

    Really solid advice Constantin. thanks for that.

  8. Integration of these technologies takes a keen eye to your threat model and risks toward integration. As with everything, your use case should come first, integration plan and threat model second, and a strong security stance (cyber and physical) to tie it all together as a full system. Looking forward to working with you on this and other things in 2020!



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