Gartner released its Hype Cycles 2010 report in August, and I’ve been meaning to post about it ever since. Audrey recently covered it from a cloud computing angle Marshall just covered it from a consumer perspective. So I thought it was about time to give it a look from an enterprise perspective.

Marshall rightly criticizes the report, but Gartner is an IT focused company and its enterprise predictions are generally better than its consumer and other predictions.

For reference, here’s last year’s:

Activity Streams

Marshall notes that activity streams are already mainstream in consumer applications – but in the enterprise they’re still gathering steam. I maintain that activity streams are a “must have” feature for any sort of collaborative enterprise software, so maybe I’m part of the hype. I do honestly think, though, that activity streams are one of the simplest but powerful ways to make an application more useful.

But there will almost certainly be a period of disillusionment once the idea fully catches on but it’s still being refined. Implementation is key here. Individual applications need to generate activity streams, and those streams will need to be aggregated in different ways that make sense for different users. It will take some time to get right. Company to watch (which we’ll be covering in more detail soon): SimplyBox.

Idea management

As we’ve written before, idea management is a decade old idea that’s getting hot again in the enterprise. And with good reason – there are several companies doing really interesting things with the technology. There are too many good companies in this space to mention – here are all our posts tagged “idea management.”


Microblogging has some real value. It can be a useful collaboration tool, as long as the goals are clear and it doesn’t become a distraction. Enterprise microblogging got crowded quick, and the software is already pretty commoditized, which is why companies like Yammer are branching out. This is another space with too many good companies to mention. It will be interesting, however, to see if companies like Socialcast and Blogtronix keep producing strong, single purpose tools or go the Yammer/Jive/ “Swiss-Army” route.


Gartner puts telepresence well into the down slope towards the trough of disillusionment. That feels about right. There’s some interesting stuff going on around interoperability, but common standards haven’t been established and prices are still too high. Cisco’s consumer telepresence system may be the beginning of a price reduction. ZDNet mentioned the possibility that business users would adopt Cisco’s consumer solution as a low-budget alternative.

Predictive Analytics

Just yesterday I quoted someone saying: “Very soon social networking spiders and predictive analytics engines will be working night and day scanning the Internet and using that data to predict what every employee is likely to do in the future.” So it’s hard for me to believe we’re past the hype for this particular technology.


Unified Communications Gartner does apparently address unified communications in the report, but strangely it doesn’t appear on the hype cycle graph.

Location aware applications – Gartner thinks location awareness has already hit the plateau of enlightement. That seems strange to me. There are some great consumer apps already, but they seem hardly mainstream. And geo-location in the enterprise just seems to be getting started. Or am I missing something?

Biometric Authentication MethodsThis Economist article and this article by make me think that biometric authentication is still over hyped at best.

Also not mentioned: application firewalls, next-generation firewalls, social monitoring (ie, employee surveillance), security-as-a-service, the gamepocalypse (and the gamification of work), business analytics, enterprise mashups, the social layer, point and click app development and telecommuting.

Via We Are Organized Chaos, here are the 2008 Hype Cycle, for more historical reference: