You’ve surely experienced some, if not all, of the stages of the Gartner Hype Cycle when trying to find the Next Big Thing in your organization. The Hype Cycle is a widely used image meant to demonstrate the general lifecycle of a new technology as it goes from extremely promising brainchild to tried-and-true, thoroughly adopted tool.
When any revolutionary and potentially world-changing technology hits the public consciousness, “hype” surrounding potential applications skyrockets, and a race to adopt or find a use for this (usually) poorly understood new technology quickly ensues. Think of the initial public reaction to technologies like Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), or e-commerce itself. The number of organizations getting in on the tech-rush snowballs, and before you know it, it seems like everyone is trying to use that new technology for almost everything.
Then reality hits. As the lifecycle shifts toward actually accomplishing something with this shiny new toy and attention turns from justifying spend to demonstrating ROI, the trend line starts to head south. Seemingly overnight, the enthusiasm and rose-colored glasses fall away and an immediate return is sought. Frustrations grow as initial high hopes run up against the difficulty of implementing cutting-edge technology as an early adopter. Leadership’s interest and patience begins to wane as promised implementations fail and further experiments yield disappointing results.
Many organizations drop out at this point, opting to cut their losses and wait to see what happens next, often becoming late adopters of eventual successful technologies. But for organizations that stay the course, the lifecycle can begin to turn again. Initial implementation concepts begin to run more smoothly as unexpected challenges are resolved, new uses for the technology become apparent, and related products begin to be developed by technology providers. Organizations that have maintained a realistic view of the situation and have avoided knee-jerk decisions will begin to see the benefits of their early adoption and are primed to recognize significant value.
The lifecycle then reaches stability. By watching the journeys of early adopters, late adopters can readily see what uses the new technology has that can be quickly realized. As the technology itself becomes better defined, so do the necessary qualifications of organizations that work with that new technology. Mainstream adoption grows and the technology settles into a set of conventional, well-understood uses, at least until a new use is conceived, and then the whole cycle starts again.
Avoiding the Trough of Despair
Viewed through the lens of the Hype Cycle, early adoption of new technology is challenging. Why go through all the effort and cost when you could bide your time and jump in when the technology is successful and use cases have been well-defined? The answers are clear, but their value is different to each company. As an early adopter, you not only get a possible competitive edge, you get a say in product development as a direct connection to the providers of a new technology. Those providers are extremely invested in the success of the tech, so they are equally invested in getting feedback and feature concepts and requests from early adopters and working with those adopters to “get it right.”
So how does working with Blueprint help smooth out the Hype Cycle and keep you out of the Trough of Despair? In a nutshell, Blueprint provides a large amount of expertise, both technical and industry-specific, and takes a holistic approach to technology adoption and change management, setting partners up for success as rapidly as possible.
Blueprint has a long, successful track record of partnering with organizations large and small to achieve digital transformation, including adopting cutting-edge technologies to maintain and grow competitive advantage. Our experience allows us to help our partners choose the right technology for their needs, solve their business problems, and achieve their goals while avoiding many of the issues that arise when trying to accomplish everything internally. We support our partners at every step of their transition and bring a realistic perspective on new technology adoption. We work with organizations from the beginning to appropriately set expectations, ensuring unwelcome surprises are kept to a minimum.
Whatever your industry, Blueprint has the expertise you need to make your technology adoption plan a success. We build engagement-specific teams to minimize onboarding time for our partnerships, and we often bring a wider industry view than our partners have due to our breadth of experience. We realize that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for digital transformation, and work with our clients to deeply understand the current state of the business, formulate a comprehensive digital transformation strategy and implementation plan, and provide the industry-specific experience and know-how to bring that plan to fruition, while shepherding our partners through every step of the process.
If your organization is looking to be an early adopter of emerging technology or you’re looking into any digital transformation effort, let’s start a conversation. We love diving into big, complex problems and look forward to learning more about your needs and priorities.