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Kevin Derman on the New Hype

Gartner not only places technologies on a position on the Hype Cycle, but also makes a prediction on the speed at which the various technologies will move through the different phases.

Every year, I await with the eager anticipation of a 10 year old child at Christmas for the latest edition of Gartner's Hype Cycle to be released. I find that this bit of technology analysis provides me with two things.

Firstly it's a sanity check on where we as a business are currently focussed and secondly, every business should have a forward looking view of what their environment is going to look like tomorrow and should be investing in those technologies that are going to future-proof the business for the years to come.

I like to examine what's new on the Hype Cycle as this always gives us some great insight to where the IT industry is heading.

Gartner not only places technologies on a position on the Hype Cycle, but also makes a prediction on the speed at which the various technologies will move through the different phases, in order to reach the illustrious ‘Plateau of Productivity'.

What has been interesting over the past few years is how this journey through the Cycle has accelerated. Where technologies used to take 10 or more years to reach a state of maturity, there is no doubt that this time has decreased of late. This is verified by looking at past predictions and comparing the movement and advancement to today. I will examine these changes in a separate article, but for now, let's focus on what's new on the curve.

The first item to catch my eye was ‘Smart Dust'. This amazing technology supersedes the expectation of the IOT and takes the concept of data from the environment to a whole new level. Smart Dust particles or motes can be configured with sensors to detect and measure temperature, barometric pressure, acceleration, humidity, vibration, acoustic level, location and more. The applications range from industrial applications, like looking for hazardous leaks in pipes, to warfare applications for sensing environments and human placements.

People Literate Technology or PLT is another new technology that has made its way onto the curve. This technology provides us with the ability to interact with our computers through a blank open dialog box that retains and reuses previous conversations. This is certainly something that we are getting used to via technology like Apple's Siri, IBM's Watson, and Microsoft's Cortana. It is expected that this interaction mode will gain such acceptance, that by 2020, 40% of computer interaction will be via this method.

Citizen Data Science represents the cultivation of a new breed of individual within organisations that has the ability to analyse data that is within their area of engagement. This will rapidly expand the value that Self Service BI and Big Data brings to organisations.

Lastly we see the inclusion of Micro Data Centers on the Hype Cycle. Micro data centers are standalone rack-level systems containing all the components of a ‘traditional' data center, including on board cooling, telecommunication and storage systems, security, fire suppression, and uninterruptible power supply (UPS). These data centers typically reduce the physical and environmental footprint of the system, and the need for these seems to be increasing, driven by the IoT (Internet of Things) and a need to have the data centre closer to the edge of the network. The market is estimated to grow to $6.3bn USD by 2020.

So that's the roundup of what's new. Some revolutionary technology and some refinement or re deliverance of current technology.

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