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Gartner Hype Cycle 2009 – Emerging Technologies

Last year I had made a post on Is the Technology Hype-Cycle of any use?. In that I had criticized the “Emerging Technologies Hype-Cycle” for its lack of consistency from year to year. Gartner’s 2009 hype cycle is out and I am pleasantly surprised to see that it has better continuity compared to any of the earlier years.

For those of you who are not familiar with Gartner’s Hype-Cycle, here is a short explanation.

The assumption behind it is that every new technology creates an initial hype when everybody is talking about it. As a result an inflated expectation gets created around that technology. Since new technologies take time to mature and deliver value, it very rarely lives up to the initial hyped expectation. Therefore, after a peak of inflated expectation disillusionment follows till it reaches a trough. After this, some technologies dies a natural death and are forgotten. However, there are some which starts delivering value and people starts adopting them. When sufficient number of people adopts it, the technology is said to have reached the mainstream. The hype-cycle is represented as a graph and each technology of interest is plotted on the graph. Gartner also predicts the timeframe of each technology to reach mainstream.

This is how I measure consistency. I count all the technologies mentioned in the current year’s hype cycle. Then I count the number of those technologies which was also mentioned in last year’s hype cycle. The ratio expressed as a percentage is the degree of consistency. Here is the consistency figure from year 2004 onwards.

  • 2009 – 62%
  • 2008 – 44%
  • 2007 – 52%
  • 2006 – 47%
  • 2005 – 43%
  • 2004 – 46%

Is this because of the economic slowdown – that is speed of technological change has come down in last one year – hence a more stable hype-cycle? Personally I would like to believe that somebody from Gartner has read my earlier post and has listened to the “voice of customer”!

My Observations on this Hype-Cycle

  1. This year there is no technology which enters the plateau – is it because of the economic slowdown?
  2. It is good to see SOA, Wiki & Corporate Blogging climbing the slope – I have no argument with that
  3. But it is hard to understand why Location-Aware Applications / Services has been climbing the slope from 2003
  4. Similarly, RFID in some form has been sliding through the trough from 2004 – why is it still there?
  5. I am surprised to see Speech Recognition suddenly climbing the slope – there has been no mention of it in 2007 or 2008
  6. What happened to Social Computing – it seems to have disappeared from the peak last year
  7. Similarly what happened to Service-Oriented Business Application?

BTW: Please read the post by Ed Lee – The Gartner Hype Cycle: What Consultants and Agencies Need to Know.

If you want to know more about the 2009 hype cycle read this – Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies 2009: What’s Peaking, What’s Troughing?

Finally, here is the link to Gartner’s site – Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2009

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Udayan Banerjee

Udayan Banerjee is CTO at NIIT Technologies Ltd, an IT industry veteran with more than 30 years' experience. He blogs at
The blog focuses on emerging technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing, social media aka web 2.0 etc. It also contains stuff about agile methodology and trends in architecture. It is a world view seen through the lens of a software service provider based out of Bangalore and serving clients across the world. The focus is mostly on...

  • Keep the hype out and project a realistic picture
  • Uncover trends not very apparent
  • Draw conclusion from real life experience
  • Point out fallacy & discrepancy when I see them
  • Talk about trends which I find interesting