Driving your organization down the road to digital business? If you are, Gartner has identified seven emerging and established technologies that may help assure a smoother journey.

The recently published 2014 Gartner Hype Cycle Special Report identifies them as: Internet of Things and operational technologies, mobile infrastructure, enterprise mobility management (EMM), analytics, big data, social and cloud. But don’t get too hooked on these goodies, because there are more technologies just starting to emerge.

The report is the result of an evolution of over 2000 technologies, services and trends in 119 different areas over the past year.

What's Hot, What's Not

Generally speaking, hype cycle reports offer a snapshot of the relative maturity of technologies, IT methodologies and management disciplines. The report also highlights over-hyped areas and estimates how long technologies and trends will take to reach maturity.

They also provide buyers with insight into the expectations that surround innovations. With something that is evolving as quickly as the Internet of Things, that is key to preparing enterprises for the IT shockwave that is heading in their direction.

According to Gartner, the hype cycles help organizations to determine the right time to invest in a technology, or services, based on their business needs and risk tolerance, rather than based on the market perception and promotion of value.

This is the 20th year Gartner has published hype cycles, with a number of new reports being added to the collection this year including: Digital Workplace, Connected Homes, Enterprise Mobile Security, 3D Printing and Smart Machines.

Peaked Out

Gartner has identified the following technologies as having reached their peak in the cycle over the past year:

  • Data Science
  • Smart Advisors
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • Speech-to-Speech Translation
  • Internet of Things
  • Natural-Language Question Answering
  • Wearable User Interfaces
  • Consumer 3D Printing
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Complex-Event Processing

The hype cycle also follows the evolution of technologies from the initial excitement around the emergence of the technology to its incorporation into the mainstream as a core enterprise technology.

According to Gartner, 10 percent of these technologies are considered transformational for businesses, while a further 40 percent were identified as high impact technologies. All are progressing through the cycle at a very rapid rate.

Gartner assessed their position on the cycle based on position, time to plateau, rating and adoption rate. Its goal was to find common themes and trends by looking at the technology, service and discipline profiles that moved significantly year over year.

Report authors Betsy Burton and David A. Willis said they had found that the nexus of forces of social, mobile, cloud and information management had significant impact on the technology profiles that had changed most over the course of the year.

It is also worth noting that while the hype cycle focuses on the progress of emerging technologies as they move towards mainstream adoption, leaving the cycle does not mean that the technologies are being replaced, or set aside, for something else. It just means that they have entered the mass market where they may, or may not, be experiencing rapid adoption.

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From Trigger To Peak

For enterprises, it is important to be aware of the technologies, or forces, that are driving the push from entry to peak position.

According to Gartner, vendors are likely to bring these technologies up in discussions and feature them in marketing materials or road maps. In all, there were four sets of umbrella technologies that were pushing specific technologies along the hype cycle from trigger position (entry position on hype cycle) to peak, or even post-peak over the past year. They were:

1. IoT and Operational Technologies

One of the big emerging business opportunities for digital businesses is the impact of technologies that operate on the physical world.