What are the key hurdles to blockchain implementation at the enterprise level?

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Member Board of Directors in Finance (non-banking), 201 - 500 employees
I have been in the IT industry for many years and I've been a CIO for over 12 years. And now I serve on boards, do advisory work and invest with an early-stage VC firm. About three years ago, I took a look into the enterprise blockchain from an investment perspective. I wanted to know if this technology could be used in corporate IT, so we got experts from Ernst & Young who have done a lot of work on blockchain. We came to the conclusion that although there are definite advantages in some use cases, we didn't see a fit for broad adoption in corporate IT. But now there are a lot of changes happening with NFTs, and many companies are setting up private blockchains. When I looked at it the first time, it was too expensive. It makes more sense for supply chain operations, but even then you would still be replacing existing systems. And there are no knowledgeable resources, so where will you get the people to implement and manage the technology?
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vp information technology in Consumer Goods, 51 - 200 employees

Incredibly difficult. Only well funded organizations with time to curate blockchain into a supported "service" will be able to drive this. As far as corporate IT is concerned, blockchain is earlier than bleeding edge. Risk-averse Corp IT does not buy tech that is not secure and fully supported by a coherent ecosystem. Only when blockchain approaches mainstream with broad-based demand will engineers flock to education/training and prime the talent pipeline.

Co-Founder | CTO, Self-employed
I worked at an identity startup that decided NOT to go the blockhain route, because it's:
10x harder to design
10x harder to implement
10x harder to change or extend once deployed
10x harder to support when things go wrong
10x harder to onboard new parties
100x harder to find relevant real world commercial success stories (not "pilots") that you can learn from and emulate

1000x harder to find talent/expertise and evaluate them (even in the tiny talent pool that exists, there are are more snake oil salesmen than legitimate experts)

And what you get for all that is a distributed ledger designed to be a "reliable independent authority" about events or things in the real world amongst distrusting parties, and yet fails at its core mission because it's unable to enforce claims it makes about the outside world.

In a supply chain, property rights or commercial setting, ultimately it will be the courts that decide:
- Who owns the house
- Who owns the goods
- Who owns the rights
- Who is at fault
- Who has to pay whom

Doesn't matter what the blockchain says. It might indicate a version of the truth, but it is no authority.

Bitcoin/crypto, on the other hand, doesn't have this problem because it is only making claims about things that are ON-chain, where it can actually enforce them (e.g. account balances, NFT ownership or smart contract state). The Bitcoin ledger decides how much bitcoin you have, and no court of law can change that.

And you might say that digital signatures can go a long way towards reducing reliance on the courts and streamlining complex legal processess - but then why not just use digital signatures and a cheap, reliable, boring database?

It may not be perfect, but at least it's achievable.
CEO in Services (non-Government), Self-employed
Securing, no pun intended, value chain or supply chain partner support at the outset. Like most big initiatives the value of Decentralized Ledger Technology (DLT) has a steep
education curve which in the case of blockchain unfortunately is also tainted by the wild west nature of crypto markets. That said there are a lot companies such as IBM that have created successful offerings and many startups entering the space that have abstracted both the technical complexity and risk by offering blockchain as a service or smart contract products based on newer and more interoperable blockchain protocols.
CTO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
First, one must understand that a blockchain is a *component* of an overall architecture/solution, not a panacea. Then, have a definitive use-case where a (most likely private) blockchain adds security, transparency, etc...

For a blockchain like Ethereum, you will need expertise in Smart Contract coding (using a language like Solidity) and if you don't, the project will be a disaster.

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CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
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