Hyped technologies for 2006

Gartner tips Web 2.0 for the trough

Applying the hype cycle to your business

"The emerging technologies hype cycle covers the entire IT spectrum but we aim to highlight technologies that are worth adopting early because of their potentially high business impact," said Jackie Fenn, Gartner Fellow and inventor of the first hype cycle.

One of the features highlighted in the 2006 Hype Cycle is the growing consumerisation of IT.

"Many of the Web 2.0 phenomena have already reshaped the web in the consumer world," said Fenn. "Companies need to establish how to incorporate consumer technologies in a secure and effective manner for employee productivity, and also how to transform them into business value for the enterprise."

Despite the changes in specific technologies over the years, the hype cycle's underlying message remains the same: don't invest in a technology just because it is being hyped, and don't ignore a technology just because it is not living up to early expectations.

"Be selectively aggressive – identify which technologies could benefit your business, and evaluate them earlier in the Hype Cycle," said Fenn. "For technologies that will have a lower impact on your business, let others learn the difficult lessons, and adopt the technologies when they are more mature."/p>

Gartner's definitions of the hype cycle stages

1. Technology Trigger: The first phase of a Hype Cycle is the "technology trigger" or breakthrough, product launch or other event that generates significant press and interest.

2. Peak of Inflated Expectations: In the next phase, a frenzy of publicity typically generates over-enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations. There may be some successful applications of a technology, but there are typically more failures.

3. Trough of Disillusionment: Technologies enter the "trough of disillusionment" because they fail to meet expectations and quickly become unfashionable. Consequently, the press usually abandons the topic and the technology.

4. Slope of Enlightenment: Although the press may have stopped covering the technology, some businesses continue through the "slope of enlightenment" and experiment to understand the benefits and practical application of the technology.

5. Plateau of Productivity: A technology reaches the "plateau of productivity" as the benefits of it become widely demonstrated and accepted. The technology becomes increasingly stable and evolves in second and third generations. The final height of the plateau varies according to whether the technology is broadly applicable or benefits only a niche market.

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