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Digital Transformation 4 min

Hype and hoopla

RZW pasfoto 2020
Ruben van der Zwan
CEO & Co-Founder
meeting notes on whiteboard chart cycle scaled
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meeting-notes-on-whiteboard-chart-cycleRecently Gartner introduced the 2018 hype cycle for emerging technologies. Every year I’m excited to read about new technologies that will come our way. And also, this year Gartner does not disappoint. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept of the hype cycle, it is a graph created by Gartner analysts on emerging technologies in their path to companies like yours and ours. The hype cycle is built on the premise that the new technology will be hyped to such an extent that it will be able to solve all problems. When we find out that this is not the case realization sets in or, you might even call it disappointment, and it leaves the peak of inflated expectations (the real name in the chart) and fall into the trough of disillusionment because the technology does not solve all of our problems. Eventually some of these technologies will enter the slope of enlightenment and become technologies that you and I can use in our work and our daily lives.

Marketing tool

There is as far as I know little scientific about it. The placement of the technologies as well as the choice of technologies are done by Gartner analysts based on their estimates and agreements. It is a typical boardroom piece and something that trend watchers and other sages love to quote. And marketing people too!

The hype cycle is a marketing tool to some extent that it will give credibility to technologies that you probably haven’t heard of before. Take for instance 4D printing. Yes, you heard me right, not 3D printing but 4D printing. You might wonder what 4D printing is, I did! According to Wikipedia, 4D printing uses the technologies from 3D printing but adds the dimension of transformation over time. For instance, that the object will change the shape. 3D printing in itself is a bit of a niche.

By that I mean that 3D printing is useful, valuable but only to a specific group of users. Not to the general public. The notion that everyone will have a 3D printer and start printing their spare parts and whatnot is not going to materialize. 4D printing is even more niche as far as applications and user go.

Go Disrupt Yourself

When you look at new technologies I like to make an overview into three categories:

  1. time to stare
  2. time to be aware
  3. time to prepare

The technology in category one is technology that is still a very long way from being usable if it’s all going to be usable at all. The hype cycle of new technologies does not focus on a single industry but describes technologies regardless of them. 4D printing is a good example of what I would like to call technology that you would label time to stare.

The second category is: time to be aware. It describes the technologies that we are starting to see on the horizon and that have value for us. Again, everything on the hype cycle will be valuable to some people but not to all. You can create your own innovation radar by putting the technologies that you will learn by reading magazines, blogs like this and mapping them on the radar like overview to see the potential value that it would bring. Category two technologies are not going to be deployed in the very near future but for the mid to long-term might be technologies that you can actually consider. When you look at the category three technologies these are the technologies that are of interest to your organization and can be deployed in the near future. When technologies have been around for a long time they are typically not found on the hype cycle of emerging technologies.

Because our readers of the Yenlo blog come from many industries, I’m going to mention some technologies that will fit in almost every IT landscape. These technologies are for instance micro services, containerization using Docker and Kubernetes, stream processing, IOT and serverless computing. As far as I’m concerned these are technologies that, if you’re not already, you need to prepare for. Together with for instance APIs this will be your IT platform of the future. Some of you will have more IOT devices, depending on of course the business that you are in, others will use for instance or stream processing or perhaps even more artificial intelligence/deep learning because it simply is more what your business is all about.

But, let’s not forget that the world is not only new technology. There is something like legacy, systems or programs that have been with you for a very long time and that you need to integrate with these new technologies. In order to do that you also need a top-notch Enterprise integrator, a platform that will allow you to connect systems apps and data. A platform that will run locally or in the cloud. If you’re interested to relearn what the key capabilities of such a platform are, read our selection guide on the Enterprise Service Bus.

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