While billions of dollars are being spent on blockchain, and that spending is expected to grow exponentially over the next five years, the distributed ledger technology will never spark a technology revolution in the enterprise where preference always favours centralised control.
"I don't think we will ever see a revolution in the enterprise," said Avivah Litan, a vice president of research at Gartner. "No one wants to give up authority. Think about it. It goes against an enterprise's ability to control their own destiny. Full, complete blockchain is about no central authority. It's just peer-to-peer."
Litan was among analysts discussing tech trends shaping the future of IT and business at Gartner's IT Symposium/Xpo 2019 this week.
Among the hotter topics was blockchain, which currently is sliding into the "Trough of Disillusionment," from which it won't begin to emerge for at least another two years.
Still, enterprises are eagerly exploring blockchain, according to Gartner, because C-level executives and IT managers see it as something truly innovative. And they're trying to figure out how to use it, regardless of whether they actually need it.
"We have come across many companies who really want to explore blockchain but don't have appropriate use cases for it," she said. "It's hard to tell people they don't have a real use case for it. The users don't really understand what blockchain does or doesn't do. They just know they want to use it."
It will likely take another nine or so years before blockchain becomes fully scalable technically and operationally, according to Gartner. "Blockchain technologies have not yet lived up to the hype and most enterprise blockchain projects are stuck in experimentation mode," Litan said.
By 2021, 90 per cent of current enterprise blockchain platform implementations will require replacement within 18 months to remain competitive, secure and to avoid obsolescence, according to Gartner.
For blockchain to reach its potential as a distributed ledger for global business-to-business transactions, five things need to happen: