Notables in the 2008 Gartner hype cycle

Last month, IT industry analysts Gartner published their 2008 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.

Here’s what it looks like:


What I find especially interesting is where on the hype cycle some of these technologies are, especially seeing their current and predicted positions along the Technology Trigger and cresting the Peak of Inflated Expectations.

What will languish in the Trough of Disillusionment, and what will emerge onto the Slope of Enlightenment?

Gartner’s own summary is this:

[…] “Although Web 2.0 is now entering the Trough of Disillusionment, it will emerge within two years to have transformational impact, as companies steadily gain more experience and success with both the technologies and the cultural implications,” said Jackie Fenn, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “Later – in between two and five years – cloud computing and service-oriented architecture (SOA), which is moving up the Slope of Enlightenment, will deliver transformation in terms of driving deep changes in the role and capabilities of IT. Finally, public virtual worlds, which are suffering from disillusionment after their peak of hype in 2007, will in the long term represent an important media channel to support and build broader communities of interest.”

So in one of my areas of interest, Gartner says that Web 2.0 has a good chance of achieving the promise that is currently seen as so much hype and so is likely to emerge out of the trough, when it does get there, fairly quickly. That’s good news.

There are a couple of very interesting new entrants for 2008, notably microblogging – think of Twitter, Friendfeed and the like – green IT and cloud computing, the latter especially at the heart of growing commentary and opinion, what some would undoubtedly call hype.

How does all this compare to what Gartner has been predicting in recent years?

I’ve been closely following the hype cycles for 2006 and 2007, and it is interesting to compare 2008 with the predictions for the two preceding years:



It’s particularly notable to see the short journey Web 2.0 has taken in these three years, from its position at the Peak of Inflated Expectations in 2006, down the slope towards the Trough of Disillusionment in 2007 where it largely still is in 2008.

Note Gartner’s prediction, though, as I mentioned above.

And note, too, where corporate blogging has gone in these three years – rapidly through the trough and onto the Slope of Enlightenment.

Wikis, too – now on that slope.

I think one technology to keep a close eye on is green IT which, as Gartner says, will likely gain momentum in tandem with broader and growing concerns about climate change and environmental issues.

Anything notable that strikes you when looking at these three years?

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. neville

    Agree, Dennis, there is a lot of hype about so-called green IT. The noise level isn’t high yet, suggesting that the hype is only just getting going.

    So that’s how it is now. What will it be in a year or two? Credible, according to Gartner.

  2. One Man and His Blog

    What the Garner Hype Cycle Means For Journalists…

    It’s that time of the year again. Yes, it’s the Gartner Hype Cycle: Neville Hobson has produced a good analysis of it against previous years, but I want to highlight a few journalism-relevant points: ……

  3. Tom Murphy

    Mmmm… I’m not sure I agree with Gartner on this one. Microblogging is approaching its “peak” and Web 2.0 is entering the trough. I think they’re a little ahead of themselves on both counts to be honest.

    Maybe I’m wrong but I think Microblogging has a while to go before it hits the peak.

    Of course the question is can you apply “web 2.0” to the hype cycle?

    Hope you’re well

  4. neville

    Good to hear from you, Tom!

    It’s hard to get a totally clear view on this without seeing the detail behind Gartner’s predictions: all I’ve seen is the press release from which I quoted.

    Yet Gartner’s view on the progress of Web 2.0 seems a reliable one given the fatigue, as it were, surrounding just about every mention of the term these days. So its present position on the hype cycle as well as its predicted trajectory makes sense to me.

    Equally hard to clearly tell with microblogging. But judging from the noise in the bubble, I’d say its current position on the rising slope of the Technology Trigger is about right.

    In its press release, Gartner says this about microblogging:

    The phenomenon has caught on among certain online communities, and leading-edge companies are investigating its role in enhancing other social media and channels.

    I bet it hits the Peak of inflated Expectations by year end.

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