Are all those technologies really significant enough to be included in a framework whose purpose is to cut through hype? With less than 1% adoption throughout enterprises for over 50% of these technologies, it may be time for a more rigorous screening process.
After reading this Hype Cycle several dominant themes emerge. They include modernization of IT infrastructure to support greater scalability and security, consolidation of IT hardware investments, recognition of hybrid clouds being a central part of networking strategies, and location-based technologies having the potential to re-define logistics, supply chain and customer service strategies. That’s a lot of ground to cover in a single Hype Cycle, and to be fair, Gartner says this is an aggregated view of the market. Yet there is still the issue of technologies being included that have not shown any real value to enterprises yet.
Presented below is the Hype Cycle for Networking and Communications, 2011 and key take-aways.
Source: 2011 Gartner, Inc. Hype Cycle for Networking and Communications, 2011 David A. Willis, Publication Date: 24 August 2011 ID Number: G00216400
- Gartner is predicting the technologies that will experience the fastest growth include Virtual I/O, Gigabit Ethernet, Long-Distance Live Virtual Machine Migration, Energy Efficient Ethernet, Context Delivery Architecture, and Video Telepresence.
- Hosted Virtual Desktops, OpenFlow (technology also known of as software-defined networking (SDN), Transcoderless and Software-Based Videoconferencing Infrastructures, Mobile Enterprise Applications via SaaS, 802.11ad (Wi-Fi at multi-Gigabit speeds) , 802.16-2009 (consolidates dated WiMAX standards) and Mobile Satellite Services are the latest technologies Gartner has added to this Hype Cycle. Of these, Mobile Enterprise Applications with SaaS have the most significant potential effect on Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) on CRM and customer-facing enterprise applications. None of these have greater than 1% adoption in the enterprise today however.
- Gartner is projecting over 1B smartphones and media tablets will be sold globally by 2015. This explosive growth is forcing enterprises to react much faster than they initially expected to mobile security, mobile device management, and application support is an essential services. A recent survey completed by Gartner indicates that CIOs fully expect to support up to three mobile operating systems by 2012 and that 20% of devices will be employee-owned by that year. Presented below is their forecast for smartphones and media tablets through 2015. The following forecast is from their report, Emerging Technology Analysis: Mobile Business Intelligence, 13 July 2011, ID:G00214124 by Bhavish Sood, Andreas Bitterer, James Richardson.
- Mobile Enterprise Applications via SaaS will see the greatest growth in vertical or specialized and Small & Medium Business (SMB) segments. It is evident from their analysis that TCO estimates may confuse enterprise buyers into thinking initial set-up costs for SaaS will lead to a lower price than licensed, premise-based applications. This will not always be the case despite the hype around SaaS economics today. This Hype Cycle could have been stronger and more prescriptive for enterprise IT buyers by discussing SaaS economics in greater detail.
- Gartner goes into great depth on location-aware technology yet doesn’t make that convincing of a connection to enterprise-level strategies, initiatives and programs. There is much technological discussion on GPS, assisted GPS (A-GPS), Wi-Fi, Enhanced Observed Time Difference (E-OTD) and Enhanced GPS (E-GPS) yet hardly any analysis of how this fits into the enterprise.
- Gartner sees the majority of enterprise cloud-based systems being hybrid. The Hype Cycle provides a glimpse into private and public clouds being integrated together for workload sharing. There needs to be more focus on how this will work for a business process standpoint to be of value however.
- Mobile consumer application platforms (MCAPs) will increasingly become multi-platform based. Gartner is predicting that Messaging-Based, Browser-Based, Thick Clients/Rich Clients and Streaming Audio/Video will dominate consumer application platforms within the next two years. They also see this area as the most transformational of all technologies analyzed in the Hype Cycle.
Bottom line: The best way to deflate hype in any industry is to insist on real, measurable results. From choosing communications and networking solutions to including nascent technologies in a research framework, results attained by real customers are all that really matter.