Gartner is once again taking a look at the “hype cycle” for technologies and trying to assess where technologies lie along the bumpy road from technology trigger to productivity. This year, Gartner is adding big data, Internet of Things, gamification and consumerization to the Hype Cycle that weren’t present in 2010. According to Gartner, private cloud computing has reached the peak level of hype, and cloud/Web platforms are slipping into the “trough of disillusionment” in the face of Platform as a Service (PaaS).

For the uninitiated, Gartner tracks technologies through a lifecycle that begins with a technology trigger through the plateau of productivity. The idea is that companies can use the assessments to decide whether to invest in specific technologies.


The results this year? Gartner puts private clouds at the peak of inflated expectations, cloud computing on the downside of the peak headed towards the trough, and cloud/Web platforms almost at the bottom of the trough of disillusionment. Consumerization has skipped through the hype cycle entirely and is already at the “slope of enlightenment” according to report authors Jackie Fenn and Hung LeHong, despite just being added to Gartner’s tracking. Private clouds were just on the dividing line from tech trigger to peak in the 2010 report.


Now what does all that mean? Just past the peak of the hype cycle is when a technology is being adopted by more than the early adopter crowd. Immediately after that stage is when bad press begins. (Why? Because the less enthusiastic crowd starts finding out what’s wrong with the technology, or how it didn’t quite meet their expectations set by the early adopters.) According to Gartner, a technology that’s in the trough of disillusionment is still sparsely adopted – less than 5% of the audience has fully adopted a technology while there. Once 20% to 30% of the audience has adopted a technology, Gartner considers it at the plateau of productivity.

As far as Gartner’s assessment of the various technologies, it looks about right. I suspect that “big data” will mature very quickly, as it’s an area that’s moving fast and showing very little disappointment. Note that all of the technologies that Gartner is newly covering this year have been well-covered on ReadWriteWeb for some time.