The Psychology of Technology Adoption & Cloud Computing
Cloud computing benefited from a media frenzy for two years and is now facing scrutiny — resulting in hesitation from companies that were hoping to tap into the efficiencies the new technology promised. But the technology’s fall from the media high is nothing new, according to research firm Gartner Group, which has labeled this technology pattern as the Hype Cycle.
The Hype Cycle and The Tech Mind
Gartner Group’s Hype Cycle explains people’s behavior changes toward new technologies, which are influenced in part by the media. Recognizing the various stages of the Hype Cycle is important to enterprise customers hoping to invest in new technologies. After the novelty of a technology wears off come the naysayers. Prospective customers should hang on and observe the various cycles without rushing to judgment. It’s all part of the Hype Cycle and each phase has an important purpose.
Hype Cycle Phases
The Hype Cycle breaks down the euphoria surrounding new technologies into five phases. The initial introduction of a technology is known as the Technology Trigger, which introduces the new ways in which technology can improve business processes. The media picks up the novelty even though there may be no customers and no case studies other than testing to demonstrate product implementation.
This phase is followed by Inflated Expectations, which involves more media coverage of success stories and then includes emerging challenges and ultimately, failure reports.
The Trough of Disillusionment details the pitfalls of the new technology. Some of the disappointment is within the expectations of realistic customers. Companies often conduct more testing and roll out improved versions of the product. However, some products lose investors and drop out of the competitive landscape.
The Slope of Enlightenment phase focuses on products that have improved and success stories begin to reemerge.
At the Plateau of Productivity prospective customers have strong assurance that the product has been tested and can perform as promised. In this phase, word of mouth recommendations are strong and technology is widely adopted.
The Cloud Moves Through the Hype Cycle
Cloud computing clearly is still moving through the Hype Cycle. It has experienced the Technology Trigger and Inflated Expectations phases. The technology has smoothed out glitches and is finding ways to circumvent security, privacy and reliability concerns, thereby experiencing the Trough of Disillusionment. Now that the initial hype has died down, cloud developers need to dispel valid concerns with arduous industry testing while proving and promoting enterprise benefits.
Emerging Stronger from the Cycle
The Hype Cycle is very useful in assessing whether or not a technology is a solid enterprise investment. The initial promise of the new and the modifications arising from challenges are all part of the cycle. Cloud computing technology is emerging from the Trough of Disillusionment but won’t delay in reaching the Slope of Enlightenment simply because it promises such efficiencies and savings that it’ll be difficult — if not impossible — for enterprise customers to bring into their businesses.