Noha Tohamy, Distinguished Vice President of Research with Gartner, discusses the findings of the firm’s latest Hype Cycle for assessing technology maturity.
Gartner’s Hype Cycle, which traces the development and acceptance of technology innovations for business, turns 25 this year. The latest version holds some surprises. The internet of things, the topic of so much discussion and interest over the years, has reached what Gartner terms “The Trough of Disappointment” — the point at which reality intrudes, and tempers some of the bold claims that attended its creation. A development that was supposed to “save the world” turns out merely to be a strong enabler of certain activities within the supply chain, such as trading-partner collaboration and cross-functional integration. After that splash of cold water, the IoT is poised for realistic acceptance and eventual rise to the “Plateau of Productivity.” “We’re not saying that anything in the Trough is bad, or not a valuable capability,” Tohamy says, “just that the technology can’t live up to unrealistic expectations.”
Much less advanced along the Hype Cycle is artificial intelligence, which sits only halfway up the first stage, dubbed the “Innovation Trigger.” A.I. can be a “huge enabler,” Tohamy says. “It’s going to change how we manage our supply chains.” But at this point, A.I. means different things to different people. It’s far from being able to autonomously manage key supply-chain processes.
Analytics, nearly at the bottom of the Trough of Disappointment, also promises to deliver major benefits to organizations in its multiple manifestations, eventually evolving from descriptive to predictive to prescriptive capabilities for decision making. But it’s far from having reached that last stage, with many companies still unsure of what to do with the system’s conclusions and the data that drives them.
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