How to read Gartner’s new Hype Cycle graph for emerging technologies

As new technologies like wearables, 3D printing, self-driving cars, and the Internet of Things emerge out of obscurity and onto the commercial scene, it can be hard to separate the hype from the real business value offered – but Gartner Inc. is here to help with its hype cycle graph.

Gartner published its graph and report on the Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies (2015) on Wednesday. One of several hype cycle reports published by the Stamford, Ct.-based analyst firm, emerging technologies is the longest-running area where Gartner has used this approach.

But what do all those blue circles and yellow triangles placed along that sine curve really mean?

“It expresses why we’re hearing hype in the industry about some area, it helps you understand where the noise is happening,” says Gartner vice-president and analyst Betsy Burton. “But it’s really important that people don’t consider a position on the hype cycle… as an indication of maturity.”

In recent years of releasing its hype cycle report, Gartner has complemented the hype cycle curve with a maturity rating. Paired together, the indicators can give a business an idea if a technology is right for them to consider adopting.

Emerging tech hype cycle 2015

Here’s how to read the hype cycle, as explained by Burton:

  1. Understand the technology overall. “What I advise clients to do is look at the hype cycles that are interesting to you and read the first four or five pages,” Burton says.
  2. From there choose which specific technologies and drill down into those areas, looking at the rating and consider the vendors related to them.
  3. Use Gartner’s My Hype Cycle toolkit. It lets you choose technologies of interest to create your own graph. You can use it to look at the relationship between technologies you may want to pursue.

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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