The Hype Cycle of New Technologies

The gurus of technology in general, The Gartner Group, tracks technology directions, different vendors in our market, etc. and provides excellent insights into new trends and ideas in technology. Several years ago they described a "hype cycle of new information technologies" as depicted in the graphic below:

They make the point that many new technologies, such as "the paper-less office", PDA's, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, eBusiness, etc. initially get more hype than they deserve. Gartner notes that there is a peak of inflated expectations where the products don't really deliver what they promise which is often followed by disillusionment, disappointment, and disparagement. Then, over time the technologies become more efficient, better tested and more widely accepted. Reality kicks in and they start becoming really productive. Consider document archiving and the Internet itself - we are now seeing productivity, cost savings and other benefits from these once over-hyped technologies. 

In any reference to this graphic, please make sure and credit The Gartner Group and not me. Thanks.

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Last updated June 2003