Technology Adoption – 2 beliefs you need to undo


Here is further proof that “Consumerization of IT” (CoIT) is a reality. And, that has significantly altered the dynamics of technology adoption. Before I explain this shift, let us look at…

How experts explain technology adoption cycle

The accepted premise is that every new technology goes through the following phases:

  1. Hype: Search for next big thing leads to Hype around any new technology.
  2. Struggle: Adoption of these Bleeding Edge technologies depended on the Visionaries who had the vision, energy and money to make it work.
  3. Success: Mainstream adoption required convincing the Pragmatists who needed success stories and support system around the technology.

Not all technologies made it to mainstream. All these are from the perspective of an enterprise. Consumers had very little role to play in this lifecycle. This underlying theme comes out in both the “Hype Cycle” model used by Gartner since 1995 and the “Technology Adoption Lifecycle” model popularized by Everett Rogers and Geoffrey Moore.

Though the curve looks different and one is plotting “Expectation” and the other is plotting “Adoption Rate” against time, both of them are based on the same three basic premises I had stated earlier. But do we have evidence to support these theories?

What does past Gartner Hype Cycle data say?

If this pattern of technology adoption is true then most of the technologies that find a place in the “Slope of Enlightenment” should have, in the past, appeared in the “Peak of Inflated Expectations”. Let us see if this is really the case.

If you examine the Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies of 2011 you will see that 7 technologies are listed under “Climbing the Slope of Enlightenment”.

  1. Consumerization – appeared directly in “Slope of Enlightenment” in 2011
  2. QR/Color Code – appeared directly in “Slope of Enlightenment” in 2011
  3. Idea Management – first appeared in “Trough of Disillusionment” in 2007
  4. Biometric Authentication Methods – appeared directly in “Slope of Enlightenment” in 2010
  5. Mobile Application Stores – first appeared in “Trough of Disillusionment” in 2010
  6. Predictive Analytics – appeared directly in “Slope of Enlightenment” in 2010
  7. Speech Recognition

So, 6 of the 7 technologies NEVER crossed the left “Peak of Inflated Expectations”. Only exception is “Speech Recognition”. That means only of 1 these 7 technologies have ever been hyped up!

Since looking at only one year data is too small a sample size, let us look at the data over a 5 year period. Between 2007 and 2011, total 15 distinct technologies appeared under “Climbing the Slope of Enlightenment”. Out of this list of 15 only 3 (Tablet PC, Electronic Ink/Digital Paper and Wikis) ever appeared in the “Peak of Inflated Expectations”. Again the hit rate is 1 in 5! Therefore…

Lesson #1: Successful technologies are NOT likely to be hyped up!

Now, let us look at the full list of 15 technologies…

The list of 15 technologies that found a place in Slope of Enlightenment

Technology

Climbing the slope

First Appeared in
Enterprise Instant Messaging

2007

“Sliding through the trough” on 2006
Basic Web Services

2008

Appeared directly
SOA

2008

“Sliding through the trough” on 2004
Tablet PC

2008

2003 or earlier
Corporate Blogging

2009

“Sliding through the trough” on 2008
Electronic Paper

2009

2003 or earlier
Wikis

2009

2004
Biometric Authentication Methods

2010

Appeared directly
Interactive TV

2010

“Sliding through the trough” on 2010
Internet Micropayment Systems

2010

Appeared directly
Predictive Analytics

2010

Appeared directly
Consumerization

2011

Appeared directly
Idea Management

2011

“Sliding through the trough” on 2007
Mobile Application Stores

2011

“Sliding through the trough” on 2010
QR/Color Code

2011

Appeared directly

6 of the 15 technologies did not even “slide through the trough” and directly started “climbing the slope of enlightenment”. If you look at the 2011 hype cycle the number is even starker – it is 4 out of 7! Majority of these technologies, when they enter the radar of the enterprise, has already been adopted by the consumer. Though, enterprise success stories may not be available but the kinks around the technologies would have already been sorted out by the consumers. Since your consumer may already be using these technologies, they may become very important channel to reach out to your customers. Therefore…

Lesson #2: Waiting for success stories will leave the field open for your competitors!

Consumerization of IT and its implications

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Comments
23 Responses to “Technology Adoption – 2 beliefs you need to undo”
  1. mike says:

    Check out the price of Bitcoin, it fits your model nicely

  2. Rick S. says:

    Thanks for the intersting article. I like the way you applied Geoffrey Moore’s http://www.geoffreyamoore.com work to your concepts. I wonder how voice technology will fare with all the flack that the Siri commercials are getting. Thanks again.

    • Udayan Banerjee says:

      It is a good question worth investigating.

      BTW: Speech Recognition has been appearing in Gartner Hype cycle for last 10 years.

      • Reify says:

        Overlaying the hype cycle on the actual consumer adoption is a smart way for organizations to make decisions, once they know what their needs really are. Not to be too technical, but the placement of the hype is out-of-scale and misrepresents the plateau which actually happens earlier on in the adoption (pending the technology…)

      • Udayan Banerjee says:

        On closer examination of the diagram, I do agree with you that “plateau” should start much nearer to the peak of adoption.

  3. Gene Hughson says:

    I wonder if the fact that consumerization was imposed on IT rather than adopted by it plays a part in this?

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  1. […] Technology Adoption – 2 beliefs you need to undo … – 28/5/2012 · Here is further proof that “Consumerization of IT” (CoIT) is a reality. And, that has significantly altered the dynamics of technology adoption…. […]

  2. […] Technology Adoption – 2 beliefs you need to undo … – 28/5/2012 · Here is further proof that “Consumerization of IT” (CoIT) is a reality. And, that has significantly altered the dynamics of technology adoption…. […]

  3. […] Technology Adoption – 2 beliefs you need to undo … – 28/5/2012 · Here is further proof that “Consumerization of IT” (CoIT) is a reality. And, that has significantly altered the dynamics of technology adoption…. […]

  4. […] Technology Adoption – 2 beliefs you need to undo … – 28/5/2012 · Here is further proof that “Consumerization of IT” (CoIT) is a reality. And, that has significantly altered the dynamics of technology adoption…. […]

  5. […] Bannerjee, U. (2012). Technology Adoption – 2 beliefs you need to undo, accessed at https://setandbma.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/technology-adoption-shift/ on 18th of October […]

  6. […] a technology trend blog post, Udayan Banerjee combined Gartner’s technology hype cycle with Geoffrey Moore’s technology […]

  7. […] follows a predictable adoption cycle (see The Hype Cycle and Technology Adoption Lifecycle). We are seeing this more often and the cycle is happening quicker from start to […]

  8. […] Are Traditional Models of Technology of Adoption becoming obsolete? – Technology Adoption – 2 Beliefs You Need To Undo […]

  9. […] Next >> Are the traditional technology adoption models still valid? […]

  10. […] Are the traditional technology adoption models still valid? […]



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