Forrester Research: 2018 “A Year of Reckoning for Blockchain Projects”

A “serious pruning of (blockchain) projects” can be expected in 2018, according to Forester Research, a Massachusetts-based market research firm.

According to Forrester’s latest report on blockchain, “Predictions 2018: A Year of Reckoning,” the consolidation will come as more and more people tune out the hype and realize, “widespread deployment of blockchain-based (or indeed blockchain-inspired) networks isn’t imminent.”

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In an introduction to the report, author Martha Bennett, Principal Analyst at Forrester research, describes the difficult task of reconciling competing lines of thought in blockchain as, “a little like living in two parallel universes”:

“One is the world of press and vendor hype, fuelled in equal measure by commercial self-interest and a genuine desire for innovation, and which remains firmly in the phase of irrational exuberance. The other is the world of enterprise business and technology professionals actually working on blockchain projects; this world is firmly anchored in the phase of rational assessment…”

Bennett does not believe it’s all over for blockchain but sees a very slow progression:

“The inhabitants of this second universe also recognize that you need to be prepared to be in it for the long haul, as the true transformational potential of blockchain-based networks will take a long time to materialize, for non-technical as much as technical reasons.”

Research must be refined into three areas, she says:

  • Pure R&D
  • immediate business benefit
  • long-term transformational potential

Projects will remain small in the short term because organizations increasingly understand that, “the true value of blockchain-based networks means reinventing entire processes and industries as well as how public-sector organizations function.”

That said, “initiatives will increasingly be assessed against standard business benefit models, and those found wanting will not be given the go-ahead, or they’ll be stopped if already underway.”

Bennett echoes that practical sentiment finally cutting through the marketing fanfare:

“Those who persevere with their blockchain initiatives…understand that this isn’t really about technology, but about business.”

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