Once a year, Gartner publishes its Hype Cycle, which deals with the acceptance and the maturity of new technologies.

The annual special report, that evaluates more than 1,900 technologies and trends, grouped into 76 distinct Hype Cycles, aims to help organizations understand the landscape of technology maturity and markets, and to decide which technology innovations to adopt, postpone or ignore.

Don’t expect to find email or mobile email mentioned there as it seems to be water under the bridge and therefore not on the list.

According to Gartner’s 2011 Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle, in particular private cloud computing, NFC and Internet TV are at the moment overvalued. While, in the field of social media, social monitoring and activity streams as well as shopping communities, have moved into the Peak of Inflated Expectations. Other newly featured high-impact trends include big data, and natural language question answering. Disillusionment, on the other hand arises, for instance, in the case of augmented reality.

The Hype Cycle graphic has been used by Gartner, since 1995, to highlight the common pattern of overenthusiasm, disillusionment and eventual realism that accompanies each new technology and innovation. The "Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies" report is also the longest-running annual Hype Cycle, providing a cross-industry perspective on the technologies and trends that IT managers should consider in developing emerging-technology portfolios.

Source: Gartner

Jackie Fenn, Vice President and Gartner Fellow said: “On the social media side, social analytics, activity streams and a new entry for group buying are close to the peak, showing that the era of sky-high valuations for Web 2.0 start-ups is not yet over. Private cloud computing has taken over from more-general cloud computing at the top of the peak, while cloud/web platforms have fallen toward the Trough of Disillusionment since 2010. Mobile technologies continue to be part of most of our clients' short- and long-range plans and are present on this Hype Cycle in the form of media tablets, NFC payments, quick response (QR)/color codes, mobile application stores and location-aware applications.”

Transformational technologies that will hit the mainstream in less than five years include highly visible areas, such as media tablets and cloud computing, as well as some that are more IT-specific, such as in-memory database management systems, big data, and extreme information processing and management. In the long term, beyond the five-year horizon, 3D printing, context-enriched services, the “Internet of Things” (called the "real-world Web" in earlier Gartner research), Internet TV and natural language question answering will be major technology forces. Looking more than 10 years out, 3D bioprinting, human augmentation, mobile robots and quantum computing will also drive transformational change in the potential of IT. (Source: Gartner, Inc)

By Daniela La Marca