CIOs Not Sold On The Blockchain

Despite a heavy round of hype — for most financial services CIOs, the blockchain is not all that big or pressing a priority, according to Gartner’s latest survey of industry IT leaders.

The blockchain, the technology that underpins bitcoin and most virtual currencies, has seen some very high-profile boosting — Oracle, IBM and Microsoft all have blockchain offerings they are perfecting, and the buzz about the future of faster, better and safer transactions has certainly seen lots of hype of late.

But for all the buzz, the 3,160 CIOs and other executives across 347 different financial services businesses surveyed by Gartner greet bitcoin with something of a shrug.  All in all, it clocked a ranking of 20 on the list of differentiation priorities in Gartner’s 2018 CIO Agenda Survey. Things that ranked ahead of the blockchain? Automation (ranked ninth), cloud services (ranked fifth) and AI (ranked fourth) all grabbed much higher rankings.

“Despite the attention and visibility [of blockchain], it is not yet seen as a differentiating technology for banks. That may change in the near future,” Gartner noted in its news release for the research, which collected responses from 3,160 CIOs across 98 countries.

CIOs instead seem to be training their sights on analytics and BI, which 26 percent named as their top priority in differentiating their businesses technologically. Modernizing legacy applications was also highly ranked, clocking in sixth for banking CIOs.

“These priorities point to a continuing tension between two opposing forces,” said Pete Redshaw, managing VP at Gartner. “On the one hand, there is a need to rapidly transform the business — while, on the other hand, there is the innate inertia that arises from a huge IT estate that supports a heavily regulated industry.”


Featured PYMNTS Study: 

With eyes on lowering costs to improving cash flow, 85 percent of U.S. firms plan to make real-time payments integral to their operations within three years. However, some firms still feel technical barriers stand in the way. In the January 2020 Making Real-Time Payments A Reality Study, PYMNTS surveyed more than 500 financial executives to examine what it will take to channel RTP interest into real-world adoption. Here’s what we learned.