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This article was published on May 16, 2019

Supply chain managers don’t want to buy blockchain

The blocckhain fatigue is real

Supply chain managers don’t want to buy blockchain
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

Despite the excitement currently surrounding blockchain, it seems supply chain managers are falling out of love with the decentralized technology.

Procurement industry leaders discussed blockchain at the Supply Management Forum in London last week and spoke of how they are still waiting for the value of blockchain adoption to be proven. Organizations aren’t investing in blockchain technology yet because “It lacks practical application,” Supply Management Magazine (SMM) reports.

Jaguar Land Rover’s global purchasing transformation director, Richard Harding, even said that he has not yet seen a blockchain use case enticing enough to make him invest his time into it.

Some might find that surprising, given headlines at the end of April were awash with the news that Jaguar Land Rover was working with IOTA to reward drivers with cryptocurrency.

A spokesperson recently told Hard Fork in an email that JLR’s relationship with IOTA is currently a “research project.” Whether it will be deployed or not remains to be seen.

What’s more, the project with IOTA is not related to the automaker’s supply chain. Echoing the procurement professionals at the forum, blockchain isn’t useful in every scenario.

Indeed, Stefanie Seff, strategic leader of procurement for Thurrock Council, also said at the forum that they can see the benefit in blockchain, but are yet to see anyone demonstrate the benefit of switching to the decentralized technology.

SMM magazine cites that this might be signs of a growing trend. Figures from a recent report by industry research firm Gartner suggest that because of the lack of strong use cases, 90 percent of blockchain-based supply chain projects will experience what it calls “blockchain fatigue,” by 2023.

In short, “blockchain fatigue” is the result of exploring a technology that lacks standards, and was oversold and misunderstood.

So far though, the firms that put almonds, cheese, milk, shrimp, and metals on the blockchain are claiming success in their respective trials.

Of course, we’ll have to wait and see if “blockchain fatigue” will affect all use cases or just the most ridiculous ones.

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