Gartner’s Hype Cycle: a quick review

For internal students from (I)BA, Gartner’s Hype Cycle should sound and look familiar, as we discussed it during the BIM class in our 3rd year. For those of you who may have forgotten or that have transferred from other universities or hbo, the hype cycle describes the life cycle of technologies, and contains 5 phases. The life cycle starts off when a technology trigger takes place; a technological breakthrough can cause increased interest and publicity. After the trigger, technological developments quickly move up the graph towards the peak of inflated expectations. In this phase, as the name suggests, expectations peak often beyond an inflated point, only to plummet into the trough of disillusionment, the next phase. In this phase the interest for the technology fails to satisfy the set expectations. If the technology survives this trough, it will slowly climb the slope of enlightenment, where the usefulness and benefits of the technology are discovered and proved. Finally, hopefully, it will reach the last phase; the plateau of productivity, which is characterized by more widespread adoption. [1]

Each year Gartner releases a new hype cycle, on which they locate the current placement of technologies along the graph, as well as an estimate on how long, if at all, it will take that technology to reach the plateau of productivity. Below you will find the hype cycles from the past 3 years:

Gartner’s Hype Cycle 2013 [2]

Gartner’s Hype Cycle 2014 [3]

Gartner’s Hype Cycle 2015 [4]

The hype cycle aims to help managers understand if and when to invest in a certain technology. This is important because not every technology makes it past the trough of disillusionment. Some technologies require early adoptions in order to pay out massive profits, while others require a more careful approach and moderation, and some are better left alone until others have proved the profitability of the technology. [1]


[1] Gartner Hype Cycle, retrieved from accessed on October 11, 2015
[2] Gartner Hype Cycle 2013, retrieved from accessed on October 11, 2015
[3] Gartner Hype Cycle 2014, retrieved from accessed on October 11, 2015
[4] Gartner Hype Cycle 2015, retrieved from accessed on October 11, 2015


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