New technology; hype or success

Is a new technology only a hype that will soon pass over its glory days or will it eventually become mainstream and important for your organization? For many entrepreneurs it as a challenge to correctly assess the value of new technology. Should you invest in the new technology to keep up with or even be ahead of competition, or will this just be a waste of money? The Gartner Hype Cycle can help you in these decisions.

The Gartner Hype Cycle

Research and advisory organization Gartner has developed the Hype Cycle as an instrument to visualize the maturation of new technologies. Between introduction and full adoption, each new technology goes through five stages:

1. Technology Trigger: the potential technology breakthrough triggers significant publicity, but there are no usable products or applications yet.
2. Peak of Inflated Expectations: the peak of the hype is reached with a number of success stories emerging, often accompanied with scores of failure. Some companies take action, others do not.
3. Trough of Disillusionment: interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Only companies that successfully improve their products and solutions to the satisfaction of the early adopters continue to invest in the technology. This is when it remains a hype or becomes mainstream.
4. Slope of Enlightement: it becomes clearer how the technology can be applied in a profitable manner by companies. Second- and third-generation products appear on the market, more companies fund pilots, conservative companies remain cautious.
5. Plateau of Productivity: mainstream adoption starts to take off. Companies know whether they can do something with the technology and how they can offer value to their customers. The technology has become relevant.

How the Gartner Hype Cycle can help you

There is no scientific evidence to support the Hype Cycle, and it is questionable whether technologies indeed develop according to the stages defined by Gartner.

Nevertheless, Gartner's Hype Cycle can be useful for companies in making strategic decisions where new technologies play a major role. Together with your colleagues you can discuss in what stage the technology is currently in and thus decide whether this is the right time to invest.

In addition, Gartner evaluates more than 2,000 new technologies per year. The technologies with the greatest potential are incorporated in the model. The place on the curve that Gartner assigns to a technology is of course subjective, but it does give you a guideline for which technologies you want to keep track off. Regularly check Gartner’s updates of the Hype Cycle; I’m sure you are familiar with some of these technologies and that they can provide value to your company, now or in the future.

Source: Gartner Hype Cycle

April Potts is responsible for Marketing & Sales at Dysel North America and combines experiences in marketing, at dealerships and with ERP software to help dealerships move their business forward.