Gartner’s Hype Cycle

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Gartner has come out with a press release titled 2006 Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle which …assesses the maturity, impact and adoption speed of 36 key technologies and trends during the next ten years. The report is broken down into three main categories: Web 2.0, Real World Web, and Application Architecture.

I find myself agreeing with the report, specifically:

* Limited uses of Ajax technologies will have a significant, and positive impact on web sites in the next two years.

* Mashups will hit the mainstream in the same time period, but they are vulnerable since they do have external dependencies.

* Location aware technologies will be fairly common within two years, and I can see a huge increase in functionality within five. Enough so that I plan on focusing much of my energy in this direction.

* We are starting to see corporate interest and involvement in semantic web technologies, such as the use of RDF and ontologies, but I agree: it will most likely be about a decade before this really explodes. Now is the time for companies to position themselves for this explosion, as it takes most corporations years to make significant data direction changes.

About the only thing I have to quibble about the report is the fact that it doesn’t stress enough, in my opinion, how lightweight technologies are going to make an inroad into today’s extremely heavy architecture. It somewhat covers this in several of the key points, but I think its important for companies to realize the complex infrastructure architectures, such as J2EE, with its reliance on extremely over-engineered functionality, are going to begin to fail under their own weight. Even re-engineering something such as EJB (EJB 3.0) isn’t going to be enough to save these in the long run: say Gartner’s high end of ten years.

The advice at the end of the report was spot on:

Despite the changes in specific technologies over the years, the hype cycle’s underlying message remains the same: Don’t invest in a technology just because it is being hyped, and don’t ignore a technology just because it is not living up to early expectations.

“Be selectively aggressive — identify which technologies could benefit your business, and evaluate them earlier in the Hype Cycle”, said Ms. Fenn. “For technologies that will have a lower impact on your business, let others learn the difficult lessons, and adopt the technologies when they are more mature.”

All it all, an excellent report.