hype cycle [English]

InterPARES Definition

n. ~ A sequence of five stages in the introduction, adoption, and maturation of technology that can help identify if and when it makes sense to adopt the technology.

General Notes

The stages include · a trigger, when a technology innovation captures public interest; · inflated expectations, when and people see significant, potential impact and a few success stories receive a lot of attention; · disillusionment, when early implementations fail to meet expectations; · enlightenment, when enough there are enough successes and failures to give people a realistic understanding of the benefits and limits of the technology; and · productivity, when the technology becomes mainstream. Developed by Gartner, which publishes annual reports that indicates where important, emerging technologies are on the hype cycle.

Other Definitions

  • Gartner IT Glossary (†298 s.v. "hype cycle"): A Gartner model designed to help clients make intelligent decisions about when to implement emerging technologies. The Gartner Hype Cycle provides not only a scorecard to separate hype from reality, but also a model that can be used to decide when it makes sense for an enterprise to move forward with a new technology. The five phases in the Hype Cycle are: · Technology Trigger · Peak of Inflated Expectations · Trough of Disillusionment · Slope of Enlightenment · Plateau of Productivity
  • Wikipedia (†387 s.v. hype cycle): A branded graphical tool developed and used by IT research and advisory firm Gartner for representing the maturity, adoption and social application of specific technologies.


  • Hype Cycles 2013 (†268 ): Each Hype Cycle drills down into the five key phases of a technology’s life cycle. · Technology Trigger: A potential technology breakthrough kicks things off. Early proof-of-concept stories and media interest trigger significant publicity. Often no usable products exist and commercial viability is unproven. · Peak of Inflated Expectations: Early publicity produces a number of success stories–often accompanied by scores of failures. Some companies take action; many do not. · Trough of Disillusionment: Interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Producers of the technology shake out or fail. Investments continue only if the surviving providers improve their products to the satisfaction of early adopters. · Slope of Enlightenment: More instances of how the technology can benefit the enterprise start to crystallize and become more widely understood. Second- and third-generation products appear from technology providers. More enterprises fund pilots; conservative companies remain cautious. · Plateau of Productivity: Mainstream adoption starts to take off. Criteria for assessing provider viability are more clearly defined. The technology’s broad market applicability and relevance are clearly paying off. (†232)