Every year, the analyst firm Gartner releases what it calls it’s “Hype Cycle,” a visual diagram that shows how deeply technology trends are being embraced.
Gartner says all new technologies follow a predictable path in terms of adoption, starting with their initial creation and adoption (”Technology Trigger”). Then, as the media, analysts, conference speakers, and executives get enamored with the new stuff, it rises in popularity up a steep “hype cycle” curve.
Once the new technology peaks in popularity, that’s when things start going downhill. People get tired of hearing about the endless promises, and implementations don’t deliver the promised ROI or cost savings. The technology thus enters the “Trough of Disillusionment.”
The story doesn’t end there. As the hype subsides, the technology is put to the test, and gradually put to work for organizations. This is the roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-it-done phase (”Plateau of Productivity”), when people across the organization make it all work.
Three technology areas now peaking in terms of hype include 3D printing, bring your own device (BYOD), and private cloud, Gartner says. (Cloud in general is actually descending into the trough.) Wireless power and complex event processing also are at or near peak stages.
New technologies on their way up, but not ready to peak, include human augmentation (extending the capabilities of the human body), quantum computing (processing in more than one state simultaneously), and crowdsourcing (seeking answers to business problems from the network.)
No longer hyped, but at the working stages in organizations, are predictive analytics, speech recognition and consumer telematics.