Technology, Cloud

Evaluating a technology? Run it through the `hype cycle'

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I love this chart which speaks to how nascent technology is perceived over time, the so-called "hype cycle." Expectations shoot through roof, then nosedive like a bad day on Wall Street and eventually level out once the true potential is established and bought into. The cloud has followed this path during the past year and is closing in on "slope of enlightenment" in my opinion.

I found the chart at author Seth Godin's blog in which post says technologies labor for years in obscurity before they even reach the "technology trigger" stage. He thinks the hype cycle, might, well, er, be hype!

 "Just about every innovation I know of has to make it through the wilderness before it gets anywhere close to a hype cycle. The wilderness is the term for the years (or decades) that a founder/entrepreneur/artist/technology must spend being ignored and unfunded before the breakthrough of overnight success occurs."

In other words, a technology innovation has just about made it when it reaches the "technology trigger" stage.  

The chart, according to Wikipedia, was developed by Gartner in 1995 to track emerging technologies as they were heavily flogged by PR firms, vendors and analysts...and yes, we the media. No other other industry is more hyped than technology. Need a hype detector? Then click here to read the top 100 technology hype terms. Beware when you see these terms!

Of course, the hype cycle shown here isn't very useful by itself. So it comes out on a annual basis and shows where the various technolgoies are in the cycle. Click here for 2011 and here for 2010. There's also a hype cycle that notates funding stages and where technologies are in their development.

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Pearl Zhu 90 Points | Mon, 01/30/2012 - 17:53

The beauty of hyper cycle is its visualization and simplicity, to present the trend so vividly, such as cloud, big data., etc, but cloud is just such a big concept, that's why, in 2011, it has been splited into cloud, and private cloud at differient stage in the chart, if classifed into more detailed category (the hyper cycle may just too limited space to put it all):  SAAS, PAAS, IAAS, BpAAs, DAAS., etc, it may indicate more, SAAS is obvious there for quite a while, pretty mature, which also means, the cloud keep growing, branching out, and form the new trends in the coming year. thanks. 

Paul Calento 255 Points | Mon, 01/30/2012 - 14:19

Do you think that the hype cycle can be used as a risk mitigation chart? But even so, aren't some of the greatest advantages made when organizations implement a technology earlier in the hype cycle? I think that cloud computing may be entering the "slope of enlightenment" phase. Using social media chatter from the recent HP  "Master the Cloud" event as an example, the technology is here, as is the collective understanding of the SWOT related to cloud computing, cloud management and cloud security.

--Paul Calento

(note: I work on projects sponsored by and HP)

John Dodge 1534 Points | Mon, 01/30/2012 - 14:35

You have to find at what point technologies are acceptable in the current hype cycle (2011) and factor that into myriad other decision factors. For instance, cloud computing is just coming off the "peak of inflated expectations" in the 2011 hype cycle chart. That might be too early for more conservative CIOs and IT departments. But it's an imprecise measure...just one more de facto indicator of where a technology is in terms of maturing.

I also wonder if the hype cycle should be updated monthly or b-monthly. My linked to the 2011 hype cycle is to a story in August which is 6 months ago. Hasn't the cloud matured a bit since then? I am also curious how they determine where a technology goes in the hype cycle. Is there any science to it?

Nonetheless, I find useful.