What Is The Hype Cycle?

The principle has been developed by Gartner and shows the theoretical lifecycle of a technology – from birth to death.

It charts the perceptions/expectations of the technology by the market over time. It is widely regarded as a useful tool and some might say, a simplistic way to perform strategic decision making.

How do you use Hype Cycles?

Clients use Hype Cycles to get educated about the promise of an emerging technology within the context of their industry and individual appetite for risk.

Should you make an early move?

If you’re willing to combine risk-taking with an understanding that risky investments don’t always pay off, you could reap the rewards of early adoption.

Is a moderate approach appropriate?

Executives who are more moderate understand the argument for an early investment but will also insist on a sound cost/benefit analysis when new ways of doing things are not yet fully proven.

Should you wait for further maturation?

If there are too many unanswered questions around the commercial viability of an emerging technology, it may be better to wait until others have been able to deliver tangible value.

How do Hype Cycles work?

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

  • Innovation 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.

Hype Cycles 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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