Point of View

Ignore blockchain at your peril, but don’t drive blindly

April 2, 2020

Distributed ledger technologies, including blockchain, promise to change business models fundamentally and are potentially as significant as the impact of the internet itself. Blockchain became a business buzzword in 2017 courtesy of the rise and fall of cryptocurrencies, during which we saw Bitcoin’s value surge past $20,000 (albeit briefly!). In 2018, we began seeing blockchain proof of concept floodgates open as enterprises began to take it more seriously as a value creation lever. In 2019, we witnessed pioneering blockchain initiatives succeed and proceed from proofs of concept to pilots to “live, in-production,” while several other efforts failed to move beyond laboratories. 2020 promises to be the most exciting blockchain year—we could see enterprise blockchain adoption come of age to solve real-world business problems.

 

With the objective of understanding the current and emerging state of enterprise blockchain adoption, HFS and Wipro surveyed 318 senior executives (including 111 C-level executives) who are closely associated with their organizations’ blockchain initiatives and reviewed 940 blockchain initiatives across the globe and industries. We’ve also leveraged nine Wipro client case studies to bring the data and insights into life. Key findings of the study include:

 

• Seventy-five percent (75%) of enterprises surveyed consider blockchain a strategic priority. The blockchain “six-pack” (distributed shared data, consensus-driven trust, immutable transactions, data security, smart contracting, and permissioned and permissionless flavors) is driving tremendous interest among business and IT stakeholders wanting to create new sources of value

 

• Enterprise blockchain adoption is coming out of the closet. While the financial services industry was an early mover, other industries are quickly catching up. More than 95% of enterprise blockchain initiatives focus on seven broad areas: identity (including digital wallets and know your customer technology), crypto and digital currencies, trade (including trade finance peer-to-peer trading, and commodity trading), payments, supply chain (including provenance, asset management, and logistics), fraud and compliance, and finance. The adoption of blockchain is nascent but ambitious. Only 14% of blockchain engagements have reached a production stage; however, the majority want to get there in the next two years.

 

• Enterprise blockchain is going through a 60-30-10 adoption challenge. Around 60% of enterprises are still unclear about blockchain, highlighting the nascence of the concept. Nearly 30% of enterprises are struggling with how to get started, and the remaining few with successful proofs of concept or pilots are struggling to get to production. A balanced approach to blockchain is critical to driving meaningful success—you can no longer ignore blockchain as a value creation lever, but don’t also get sucked into all the hype!

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