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Emerging Technology Hype Cycle

Dazzled by the latest smartphone? Interested in the Internet of things? Heard the buzz about biochips? Each year new and emerging technologies make headlines, often promising new and better ways to improve lives or industry. But is all just hype? Do any of these emerging technologies really make an impact? Information technology research and advisory firm Gartner take a look at emerging technologies each year and have devised a way to better understand the hype around the new trends. “Gartner Hype Cycles provide a graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems and exploiting new opportunities.” Gartner creates hype cycles for various aspects of technology but their emerging technology hype cycle can be used to better understand the impact of new technologies in general.

Each Hype Cycle drills down into the five key phases of a technology’s life cycle:

  • Technology Trigger: A potential technology breakthrough kicks things off. Early proof-of-concept stories and media interest trigger significant publicity. Often no usable products exist and commercial viability is unproven.
  • Peak of Inflated Expectations: Early publicity produces a number of success stories—often accompanied by scores of failures. Some companies take action; many do not.
  • Trough of Disillusionment: Interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Producers of the technology shake out or fail. Investments continue only if the surviving providers improve their products to the satisfaction of early adopters.
  • Slope of Enlightenment: More instances of how the technology can benefit the enterprise start to crystallize and become more widely understood. Second- and third-generation products appear from technology providers. More enterprises fund pilots; conservative companies remain cautious.
  • Plateau of Productivity: Mainstream adoption starts to take off. Criteria for assessing provider viability are more clearly defined. The technology’s broad market applicability and relevance are clearly paying off.

Gartner uses proprietary research processes to explore the impact of technologies and make predictions. The image below shows the 2013 Emerging Technology Hype Cycle from Gartner, the latest version of the graphic. The Hype Cycle and topics covered in the Hype Cycle are discussed in detail in the updated version of the Geeks Bearing Gifts class.

 

Gartner Hype Cycle

According to Gartner the Hype Cycle Can Help You:

  • Separate hype from the real drivers of a technology’s commercial promise;
  • Reduce the risk of your technology investment decisions;
  • Compare your understanding of a technology’s business value with the objectivity of experienced IT analysts.
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