Gartner Hype Cycle 2012: Should Big Data indeed be below 3D printing?

19 Aug 2012 | Uncategorized

Gartner released its 2012 Hype Cycle Special Report earlier this week, which provides strategists and planners with an assessment of the maturity, business benefit and future direction of more than 1,900 technologies, grouped into 92 areas, it said. New Hype Cycles this year include big data, the Internet of Things, in-memory computing and 3D printing.
The release accompanies a diagrammatic representation of where technologies are plotted on a Hype Cycle Curve (See: http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=2124315). It’s a very comprehensive, yet neat illustration of how far various techs are now from a real adoption perspective.
There is just one thing that looks a bit odd to me, that Big Data should appear below 3D printing on the curve, given that various enterprises already have implemented different instances of Big Data (including analytics, storage and cloud IT) at reasonably large scales.
On the other hand, 3D printing, which the Gartner release describes as one that “allows consumers to print physical objects, such as toys or housewares, at home, just as they print digital photos today,” is far less understood and visible compared to Big Data.  Gartner right notes, “Analysts predict that 3D printing will take more than five years to mature beyond the niche market.”
Would a similar assessment be applicable to Big Data too? Isn’t it already a reality, especially in industry verticals such as banking and insurance, telecom and government?
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