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Research firm Gartner has conducted a survey to explore the role blockchain technology plays in supply chains.

The survey investigated how supply chain organisations leverage technology for competitive advantage and their changing views about how best to exploit technology in supply chain management organisations.

The survey was conducted between November 2017 and February 2018 among 303 respondents from North America, EMEA, Asia/Pacific and South America.

The results of the survey highlight that:

  • 90% of blockchain-based supply chain initiatives will suffer ‘blockchain fatigue’ by 2023
  • Blockchainremains a popular topic, but supply chain leaders are failing to find suitable use cases.
  • Only 19% of respondents ranked blockchain as a very important technology for their business, and only 9% have invested in it.
  • The budding natiure of blockchain makes it difficult to identify and target specific high-value use cases. Companies are forced to run multiple development pilots
  • The vendor ecosystem has not fully formed and is struggling to establish market dominance

Alex Pradhan, senior principal research analyst at Gartner, said: “Supply chain blockchain projects have mostly focused on verifying authenticity, improving traceability and visibility, and improving transactional trust.

“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.

“Without a vibrant market for commercial blockchain applications, the majority of companies do not know how to evaluate, assess and benchmark solutions, especially as the market landscape rapidly evolves.

“Furthermore, current creations offered by solution providers are complicated hybrids of conventional blockchain technologies. This adds more complexity and confusion, making it that much harder for companies to identify appropriate supply chain use cases.”

Gartner recommends that organizations 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 blockchain.

Gartner clients can read more in the report Predicts 2019: Future of Supply Chain Operations.