It's that time of year again: Gartner is looking at the "hype cycle" for emerging technologies and trying to decide where technologies should lie in terms of their maturity. It was interesting to see that this year, Gartner is finally adding big data to the Hype Cycle. What is the hype cycle and how do you use it? "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.". See Gartner's page dedicated to Hype Cycles for more detail.
According to Gartner's analysis for 2011, cloud/Web platforms are almost at the bottom of the "trough of disillusionment", and Big Data has appeared on the "peak of inflated expectations". This generally gives the impression that it will hit the mainstream in less than five years. According to ReadWriteWeb, "Just past the peak of the hype cycle is when a technology is being adopted by more than the early adopter crowd.". Gartner supposes that a technology that has made it to the trough of disillusionment does still not enjoy widespread adoption - less than 5% of the audience has fully adopted a technology at this stage. When 20% to 30% of the audience has adopted a technology, Gartner claims that it has reached the plateau of productivity.
The "Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies" report is the longest-running annual Hype Cycle, providing a cross-industry perspective on the technologies and trends that IT managers should consider in developing emerging-technology portfolios.