Self serving Hype Cycles
Maybe the Hype Cycles are just a reflection of the wacky conversations they have with their customers who think or are heavily investing in these "Activity Streams"
Gartner is an odd fish. A very big odd fish, making some $4bn a year out of its 16,000 souls beavering away in its shiny belly. It acts as soothsayer to the troubled monarchs of industry and whichever of their courtiers can afford a subscription to its reports. The company has an admirably sustainable business model that comes …
Problem is, Gartner don't think. They replay what they're hearing from other customers.
If you're behind the curve this can be helpful. If you want to do anything that keeps you current or gets you ahead, it's a challenge.
Nothing quite like managers asking you, "How do we implement [Gartner buzzword]?" and have to explain that we decommissioned that two years ago because we've moved on from there.
Even if they were kind-of right about the "personal digital assistant phones", they were probably still wrong, if that makes any sense.
This was thought to be a three-way fight between Microsoft, Blackberry and Symbian for dominance in the sector; and none of those three won the race.
And the technology driving it was going to be WAP and Java Applets.
WAP, thankfully is completely dead. I guess you could argue that Java sort-of still exists, but not really the same thing that they had in mind.
Java very much still exists. It's applets that have pretty much died off.
You could argue that all those Android apps are more or less direct descendants of Java phone applets, though. Android is basically running a JVM and the framework, as Oracle won't stop reminding us, is basically the Java standard library.
Android apps don't run in a browser1 but that's just because there's no longer any reason to do that; it was just a shortcut to providing a GUI that browser manufacturers adopted from HotJava and then dropped again a couple decades later.2
So the pundits who picked WAP/WML and Applets in the early 2000s weren't wrong about that aspect of the direction commodity personal-use computing was moving, even if they didn't foresee the technological shifts. Lots of little applications and web stuff on handheld gizmos.
2HotJava was released in '97; Oracle dropped applet support from Java in 2018 because no modern browsers supported them anymore.
Exactly where it's always been : in the hidden magic 5th quadrant which says "I can't believe all these mugs feel they have to keep buying this drivel in order to try and convince their bosses that they're up to date and won't miss out on the big new trend".
The worst boss I ever had was a big believer in everything that came out of Gartner. I think he used it as a crutch to support his lack of knowledge and experience despite somehow having lucked into a relatively senior position.
I still get annoyed about some of his bone-headed decisions several years later, even the ones that didn't affect me. Mostly they weren't based on Gartner analysis, but Gartner analysis was partly to blame for the thoroughly undeserved confidence in his own abilities.
The obsession with portals was a failure to recognize that Google, Facebook (and the other social-media sites nipping at its heels), and Amazon would become the only portals that matter to the vast majority of users, to the extent that we don't even recognize that they're portals.
Set-top boxes, "smart" TVs, and voice assistants serve as portals for a great many people. They provide a menu of services from various vendors.
The portal concept didn't go away; it became (nearly) ubiquitous, the point where there's little reason to mention it.
Yeah, there are plenty of folks here who avoid those portals and find stuff by other means. But we are very much in the minority. Portals worked out just fine for the winners.
All the predictions are held in a superposition of simultaneous plausible and implausible states. Every time they predict quantum computing will go mainstream it collapses the Gartner Probability Wave (TM) and randomly allocates their predictions to either a true or false state.
"carrying the name of Gartner through the media with a strong whiff of broad, deep tech mastery"
Uh, Gartner's emanations carry a whiff of something all right, but it's not any kind of tech mastery. As you've correctly pointed out, the only people who even pretend to take Gartner seriously are the CIOs who buy their mindless drivel. Most of the time I suspect they're doing so only so they can shift blame somewhere else when their big expensive projects using nonsense technology inevitably fail to deliver on the bottom line. Everyone else already knew what this article is saying: Gartner's recycled guesswork is worse than throwing darts and everyone needs to stop giving them money. Then perhaps these "analysts" would have to go find real jobs, which might possibly afford them the experience they'd need to gain technology mastery. Sitting around writing reports about what some blowhard CIO wants to waste his shareholders' money on won't do it.
I confess, I frequently use Gartner Hype Cycles (and other analyst charts) when presenting to management and execs... when they support the position I'm arguing for. It provides that little bit of "external validation" that "leadership" often needs to feel comfortable with a decision that is less than an absolute certainty.
We've bought their stuff to present to investors to show how we are riding along on the crest of a wave into the sunny future.
We know they are lying, the investors (unless they are total morons) know they are lying, presumably Gartner know they are lying - but we all paid up
Please stop humoring them. Enough with the dumbed-down charts. Make the lazy bastards read.
Anyone stuck with the worst of the C-Suiters (and the "C" word works best when spelled out) knows that a quick snap of their necks would help cull a useless population of obnoxious, clueless, ridiculously overpaid ladder climbers.
Imagine never again having to endure their favorite buzzwords: Gartner, process, synergy, Agile, Six Sigma...
I can hear the corn a-popping.
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