UPDATED 06:00 EDT / AUGUST 19 2014

Gartner’s Hype Cycle: Big Data’s on the slippery slope

falling-99183_640Gartner has just released its annual Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, and it shows some interesting moves for two of the most important enterprise technologies – Big Data and the cloud. Organizations that make use of these technologies might therefore need to brace themselves as their usefulness comes in for closer scrutiny.

Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies report gives us the lowdown on a range of technologies that either have the potential to, or are already, transforming the way organizations do business. It’s a careful analysis of how business views each technology, and once it makes its way through the entire cycle its either consigned to the scrapheap or becomes an accepted part of the business tech landscape (think Windows, Office, Smartphones etc).

The report covers dozens of far out technologies ranging from robots to 3D bioprinting systems to ‘software-defined anything’, but two of the biggest technological advances in recent years – that’s Big Data and the cloud – demand a closer look.

According to Gartner, Big Data has now officially passed the “peak of inflated expectations”, and is now on a one-way trip to the “trough of disillusionment”. Gartner says it’s done so rather rapidly, because we already have consistency in the way we approach this technology, and because most new advances are additive rather than revolutionary.

As for cloud computing, it’s up to its neck in the trough of disillusionment right now, meaning it can’t go any deeper. Interestingly, several other cloud technologies, including hybrid cloud and mobile cloud have also moved past the peak hype stage.

Gartner_2014-2Image credit: Gartner


It’s important to recognize that the hype cycle is a reflection of how industry views different technologies, rather than the technology’s actual transformative power. While cloud computing is now in the trough, an earlier report by Gartner says that the majority of businesses will not consider cloud to be very significant when investing, because they will see it as an expected norm.

Organizations can benefit from the hype cycle by using it to manage their expectations of any new technology they employ. That Big Data and the cloud are hitting the trough of disillusionment is due to a combination of overinflated expectations and marketing buzz that doesn’t live up to the hype. It’s likely that IT managers are going to see a lot more scrutiny of these technologies’ performance from company executives and the industry at large. However, Gartner recommends they take the long view, as both technologies are just a few years from being fully realized, productive aspects of the overall IT landscape.

Main image credit: OpenIcons via Pixabay.com

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