Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Gartner's Cycle of Hype for emerging technologies

The Peak of Inflated Expectations. The Trough of Disillusionment. The Slope of Enlightenment. These phrases could describe the stages of any number of human experiences, from romance to politics. What they actually describe are the stages of Gartner's 2008 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.

Gartner has identified 27 emerging technologies, and predicts that eight of them will have a "transformational business impact and should be strongly considered for adoption by technology planners in the next 10 years."

"Although Web 2.0 is now entering the Trough of Disillusionment, it will emerge within two years to have transformational impact, as companies steadily gain more experience and success with both the technologies and the cultural implications," said Jackie Fenn, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "Later ­ in between two and five years ­ cloud computing and service-oriented architecture (SOA), which is moving up the Slope of Enlightenment, will deliver transformation in terms of driving deep changes in the role and capabilities of IT. Finally, public virtual worlds, which are suffering from disillusionment after their peak of hype in 2007, will in the long term represent an important media channel to support and build broader communities of interest."

The idea that there is a semblance of predictability to what organizations sometimes perceive as a technology-enabled chaos is good news. It means that as we respond and react to the "digital revolution," we can also plan, predict, and participate in the way it shapes and molds our associations.

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