October 12th, 2010 by Jackie Fenn · Comments Off
Powerpoint gets a lot of bad press, often for good reason (see for example the NY Times article We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint). But the power of a good graphical representation as a focal point for discussion transcends the medium that delivers it — flip chart, Powerpoint or, as in the very first hype cycle, MacDraw!
The hype cycle is a great graphic for tracking and setting expectations around innovations, and in particular for educating execs not to get swept away with each new thing. In the context of technology planning, one of its most important functions is to highlight a set of technologies in relation to each other. This is the best way to avoid the trap of rushing in at the peak because “everybody’s doing it” rather than examining what else you could be spending those same resources on prior to making an adoption decision.
Other graphical representations can play a similar role in comparing investment options. One alternate view that we publish with every hype cycle is the priority matrix (see Figure 1 below). This shows benefit on one axis against “time to plateau”, a simple proxy for risk, on the other. This graphic helps focus a planning discussion around the relative risks and benefits of different technology. Note that the benefit is actually quite varied between industries or even individual companies depending on their value proposition, so a major part of using these graphics is to customize them for your own situation. By forcing your team to take a stab at positioning items on a graphic like this, you make hidden assumptions explicit and drive a more meaningful discussion about investment opportunities and risks.
Other graphics was have published that compare technologies include a radar screen-style chart which features timing, and the newly-introduced market clock (clients can see this at Introducing the Gartner IT Market Clock. Also for clients – the 1800 technologies in the My Hype Cycle,2010 toolkit have several fields such as maturity, adoption level and benefit that could be used to create custom graphics from Excel).
What else have you seen or used that fills a similar function in forcing a comparative look at a set of technology candidates?
Figure 1: The 2010 Priority Matrix for Emerging Technologies - this is a different view of the same technologies featured in the 2010 Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle (see blog posting 2010 Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle is Here).
Tags: Innovation Best Practices · Innovation Management and the Hype Cycle
September 28th, 2010 by Mark Raskino · Comments Off
Our colleague in Gartner Industries research, Alistair Newton, specialises in banking and financial services technologies. He recently appeared on the Financial Times website, interviewed in a video – explaining how the hype cycle works and some of the things that appear in the 2010 Hype Cycle for Banking and Investment Services, Customer Acquisition and Retention report.
September 7th, 2010 by Jackie Fenn · 2 Comments
The 2010 Hype Cycle Special Report is out, including the hype cycle for emerging technologies (click through for a legible version):
Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2010
Before I dive into this hype cycle in more detail, I want to point out that although the emerging technologies hype cycle tends to be one of the most visible hype cycles we publish, it’s by no means the only one. We have published over 75 hype cycles so far for 2010, and they’re still coming, along with over 2000 individual technology entries with definitions, recommendations and other info.
Back to the emerging technologies hype cycle specifically – we saw a number of themes arising this year, including:
- User experience and interaction, including devices such as media tablets (iPads etc) and 3D flat-panel TVs and displays, and interaction styles such as gesture recognition and tangible user interfaces
- Augmented reality, context and the real-world Web. Augmented reality is a hot topic in the mobile space, with platforms and services on iPhone and Android platforms, and it represents the next generation as location-aware applications move toward the plateau. Other elements such as 4G standard, sensor networks and context delivery architecture are evolving more slowly, but they will play a key role in expanding the impact of IT in the physical world.
- Data-driven decisions. The quantity and variety of digital data continue to explode, along with the opportunities to analyze and gain insight from new sources such as location information and social media. The techniques themselves, such as predictive analytics, are relatively well established in many cases; the value resides in applying them in new applications such as social analytics and sentiment analysis.
- Cloud-computing implications. Cloud computing is just topping the peak, and private cloud computing is still rising. Cloud/Web platforms are also featured, along with mobile application stores, to acknowledge the growing interest in platforms for application development and delivery.
Hype cycle aficionados will notice that technologies often seem to “drop off” the emerging technologies hype cycle after a year or two. This is simply because we have finite room on the graphic, but doesn’t mean that we think those technologies are not worthy of further coverage. In most cases they continue to be tracked on one of the many other hype cycles we produce.
If you’re a Gartner client you can see more details in the Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies 2010 as well as access the other hype cycles in the Hype Cycle Special Report.
Tags: Gartner Hype Cycles 2010 · Technology Hype Cycles
August 20th, 2010 by Mark Raskino · Comments Off
We are very pleased that Wolters Kluwer have chosen to translate and publish our book ‘Mastering The Hype Cycle’ in a soft cover Polish language edition. It’s out now and easy to find online, for example here .
July 8th, 2010 by Mark Raskino · 1 Comment
It’s that time of year. Gartner Fellows Jackie Fenn, Brian Gammage and myself – together with a crew of other senior analysts, are busy going through draft Hype Cycle reports with a fine tooth comb to check for appropriate and consistent use of the research method. I count 88 hype cycles in work this year… probably a new record. We haven’t added up the total number of technologies yet.
I’m seeing a few interesting new draft titles that I hope make it all the way through to publication… broadcasting and entertainment, imaging and print services, pattern based strategy… I know the new one on Enteprise Architecture will be good – I just reviewed it myself.
We have multiple review stages. Each individual technology profile is reviewed by peer specialist analysts, each hype cycle is then reviewed by a wider group of domain analysts. Then those of us in the hype cycle special report team check each area has understood and applied the method properly… to avoid local group think or cross-research inconsistencies.
It will all come together for publication in a few weeks time. We’ll keep you posted.
May 21st, 2010 by Mark Raskino · Comments Off
… so says Lars Rasmussen, Google engineer and Wave project co-founder in a recent Huffington Post blog.
First , we agree, from Lars Rasmussen’s viewpoint, the internal project is likely to be following the hype cycle. Big projects do this because there is a collective social reaction from the development team and internal management. It is one of initial enthusiasm followed by the dawning realization of all the complexities and things to be worked through, including intial customer response.
However when looking at Wave from the outside, and the buyer point of view as an innovative product in a market, it is worth us making some additional observations.
1) The vast majority of technology innovations do make it through the hype cycle
2) Individual products, might not – or might be radically altered as they pass through the trough of disillusionment.
We often use ‘search engines’ to illustrate this point that it is really a technology category that moves through the market hype cycle – rather than an individual product (or vendor). Back in 1996 Alta Vista and Yahoo were lead players at the peak of inflated expectations for the then newly developing technology of ‘web search engines’. But it was Google that really drove that technology out of the trough, up the slope of enlightenment and onto the plateau of productivity (and profitability). So search engines made it through the full hype cycle (and how!).. but Alta Vista didn’t. Using a more contemporary example, when people mention Twitter – it falls into the technology called ‘microblogging ‘ (along with Yammer, Facebook status updates and others). It’s microblogging that will move through the full market hype cycle.
It’s interesting that so far there isn’t really a strong generic market category name for the technology of which Google Wave is an example. Google’s own initial description for Wave was a bit cumbersome – a new web application for real-time communication and collaboration. My analyst colleague Ray Valdes offers the shorter unified real-time collaboration. But this lack of clear naming is not surprising – distinct emerging technology category names often do take a while to form. The earlier stages of the hype cycle are full of market confusion – including terminology.
The underlying ideas within the innovation that people like, find useful, refine, measure, extend and integrate with other things will most probably reach the plateau. However as some have conjectured – Wave as a distinct product does not necessarily have to survive (please note I am not offering a Gartner prediction here). Elements of Wave might be swept up and incorporated into other Google offerings – but that might still constitute success for the technology as a category.
Tags: Hype Cycle Insight and Advice · Hype Cycle Twists & Turns · Technology Hype Cycles
May 13th, 2010 by Mark Raskino · 1 Comment
In recent weeks it seems a real press and social backlash has built up, criticising Facebook … one of the most visible of the social networking systems. The headlines, some of which you can see below, might worry any business that has started to use social networking in their business, experimentally or in earnest.
Q: What does the hype cycle tell you as a manager?
A: 1) This was inevitable, and 2) it will pass.
This is the point in the emergence of a new technology when worriers walk away. This is the point where tenacious innovators start to make differential progress. Let’s be clear – this negative discourse phase is an inexorable and necessary process as the market feeds back issues that need to be improved, that are being learned from real world experience with a complex new technology. The more visible the original hype and the higher the level of inflated expectations… the more vigorous the debate on how it needs to evolve.
I do not track social network technologies in detail for Gartner, so I cannot predict the ultimate fate of this product and company. However Gartner’s overall position is that social networking (the technology category) will succeed and will eventually reach the plateau of productivity in business.
Remember the hypecyclist’s motto – don’t dive in just because it’s ‘in’ and don’t get out just because it’s ‘out’. Quiet, thoughtful perseverence through the trough of disillusionment is a stealthy competitive advantage opportunity for adoptive innovators.
Some Recent Facebook Headlines
- “Crisis meeting for Facebook” BBC 13 May 2010
- “Price of Facebook Privacy? Start Clicking” The New York Times, 13 May 2010
- “Facebook’s latest fracas: your privacy vs. its profit” The Washington Post, 4 April 2010
- “Facebook criticised over latest privacy lapse” The Times May 6, 2010
- “European commission slams Facebook privacy changes” MediaWeek 13 May 2010
- “Facebook Users Risk Blackmail, Canada Privacy Chief Tells Globe Bloomberg” April 24
- “Facebook in new privacy row” Telegraph- 23 Apr 2010
- “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Believe In Privacy” Wired April 28, 2010
May 11th, 2010 by Mark Raskino · Comments Off
Yesterday, Jackie ran the first of our internal research kick-off meetings with analysts who will be lead authors for Hype Cycle reports this year. Sometime around July we will publish what we hope to be a bumper crop of reports covering even more topic areas and specific technologies than 2009. The number of proposals and level of interest from analysts, including some of those brought in via Gartner’s recent acquisitions,are both very high this year. Jackie, myself, Brian Gammage and others will have our work cut out reviewing and cross referencing all the technology profiles to ensure correct application of the construct, logical consistency and position management. Each year we do this research, more hype cycle method best practices, and extended observations become apparent – so it’s an improving quality and analysis value story. Happily, analyst Peter Kjeldsen has created a tool to help us produce the many more draft revisions needed for our internal processes (thanks Peter!). Sue F. in editing will help us power though the publication processes as she did so well last year and Marcus Blosch our MVP of research content process is taking a direct hand in making sure we can provide maxium value to clients, via our many client portals.
If you are a client and there’s a technology you’d like to see a Gartner Hype Cycle position for – comment here to let us know. No promises.. but we always want to make our coverage as comprehensive as we can. Remember – hype cycle entries track technologies, not products or vendors (e.g. microblogging, not Twitter) and they typically cover the first third to a half of the market adoption cycle.. so emerging or at least ‘new-ish’ things. However technology related management methods such as Supply Chain Management or ITIL also tend to follow the cycle, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘hard-tech’ to be included.
Tags: Gartner Hype Cycles 2010
May 6th, 2010 by Mark Raskino · Comments Off
Mastering the Hype Cycle - e-book on the Apple iPad
If you care about technology innovation you already know that Apple has taken orders for over a million of its new iPad e-reader devices in the first month since they were launched. Has any device in the history of IT ever generated so much hype? Just on a count of magazine front covers dedicated to it – I think Steve Jobs wins that accolade. We are already encountering clients who are experimenting with e-book readers in different ways in higher education, real-estate, government and even movie-making. I wonder how well those trials will be going a year from now? Signs of some early disillusionment are already in view: connectivity glitches, device security, theft and breakage rates, file formats, publishing business models and many other issues are starting to arise.
If you own an iPad and you deal in technology based inovation in your job – you need a strong understanding of how the Hype Cycle plays out, what happens at each stage and how to manage for it rather than be victim to it. Happilly our reference book about this key IT management phenomenon is now available in e-book format and you can get it on your iPad. It is published by Harvard Business Press via Amazon, so you get it using the Kindle reader for iPad. Myself, I already have a Kindle – so I asked my colleague Andrea DiMaio to test it out on his new iPad and he kindly sent us the picture above.
March 26th, 2010 by Mark Raskino · Comments Off
As we have commented before in this blog, the web search term ‘next big thing’ is one remarkably simple yet powerful method corporate IT professionals can use, to scan the horizon for technologies and concepts entering and rising up the hype cycle.
Today I spent an hour browsing Google and Bing news search results for this key phrase much beloved by journalists. Here are the best results.
Of course, some of these won’t be news to you and you may be surprised that some of them are news to anyone. But ‘new’ is a concept relative to your position in the market. The media outlets in this listing serve very different audiences – some niche, some general – and in different geographies. The point is to keep a watch outside your immediate domain, to understand what others are seeing and to assess how they are being influenced.