Enterprise blockchain adoption hinges on use case fit

As technology matures and hurdles toward adoption clear, industry watchers are expecting blockchain to spend at least another three years stuck in the experimentation phase.

Even after 2028, when the technology is projected to become technically scalable, full adoption at the enterprise level is unlikely to happen without a cultural shift among decision makers.

Enterprise leaders “don’t want to partake in a revolution where they lose all control of their destiny,” said Avivah Litan, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner, speaking at the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo in Orlando, Florida, in October.

That shift is a key part of Web 3.0, the projected next era of the internet which calls for distributed structures, slick mobile interfaces and user control of data through interoperable networks.

Cultural shifts aside, the success of blockchain application in enterprise depends on alignment between the context of the problem at hand, the capabilities of the specific technology and the resources deployment would require.

Failing to balance these three elements means a mismatch between the technology and the problem it’s suited to solve, a disconnect that can lead to further sunken costs and friction during adoption.

Use case roadmap

Ledger technologies, a family of which blockchain is one element, are a group of distinct applications. IBM’s “Blockchain for Dummies” handbook breaks the technology into four buckets:

  • Public blockchain networks: One that anyone can join and participate in, such as Bitcoin. They require substantial computational power and lag in terms of privacy or security.
  • Private blockchain networks: A decentralized peer-to-peer network in which one organization governs the network, and can control which members are allowed to participate in it. Private networks can run behind a corporate firewall or live in an on-premise framework​.
  • Permissioned blockchain networks: This type of network places a restriction on who…

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