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Gartner Hype Cycle Cheat Sheet by

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Introd­uction Interp­reting Technology Hype

When new techno­logies make bold promises, how do you discern the hype from what's commer­cially viable? And when will such claims pay off, if at all? Gartner Hype Cycles provide a graphic repres­ent­ation of the maturity and adoption of techno­logies and applic­ations, and how they are potent­ially relevant to solving real business problems and exploiting new opport­uni­ties. Gartner Hype Cycle method­ology gives you a view of how a technology or applic­ation will evolve over time, providing a sound source of insight to manage its deployment within the context of your specific business goals.

How Do You Use Hype Cycles?

Clients use Hype Cycles to get educated about the promise of an emerging technology within the context of their industry and individual appetite for risk.

Should you make an early move? If you're willing to combine risk taking with an unders­tanding that risky invest­ments don't always pay off, you could reap the rewards of early adoption.

Is a moderate approach approp­riate? Executives who are more moderate understand the argument for an early investment but will also insist on a sound cost/b­enefit analysis when new ways of doing things are not yet fully proven.

Should you wait for further matura­tion? If there are too many unanswered questions around the commercial viability of an emerging techno­logy, it may be better to wait until others have been able to deliver tangible value.

Gartner Hype Cycle

How Do Hype Cycles Work?

Each Hype Cycle drills down into the five key phases of a techno­logy's life cycle:

Tech­nology Trigger: A potential technology breakt­hrough kicks things off. Early proof-­of-­concept stories and media interest trigger signif­icant publicity. Often no usable products exist and commercial viability is unproven.

Peak of Inflated Expect­ati­ons: Early publicity produces a number of success stories — often accomp­anied by scores of failures. Some companies take action; many do not.

Trough of Disill­usi­onm­ent: Interest wanes as experi­ments and implem­ent­ations fail to deliver. Producers of the technology shake out or fail. Invest­ments continue only if the surviving providers improve their products to the satisf­action of early adopters.

Slope of Enligh­ten­ment: More instances of how the technology can benefit the enterprise start to crysta­llize and become more widely unders­tood. Second- and third-­gen­eration products appear from technology providers. More enterp­rises fund pilots; conser­vative companies remain cautious.

Plateau of Produc­tiv­ity: Mainstream adoption starts to take off. Criteria for assessing provider viability are more clearly defined. The techno­logy's broad market applic­ability and relevance are clearly paying off.

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