The Gartner Hype Cycle for emerging technology 2021 and what it means?

Mainak Chakraborty
4 min readSep 8, 2021


We all are curious about the future. what the future holds for us? Gartner made it it’s business. Each year they release a set of emerging technologies that will disrupt the market and change our lives forever in the coming future. Here, I tried to analyse what The Gartner hype cycle for emerging technology for 2021 is all about.

Hype cycle (Source: wikipedia)

Hype cycle is a simple representation of technologies based on its maturity, adoption, and social application. Developed and branded by American company Gartner. The primary graph is divided into 5 major areas. These are as follows:

  1. Technology/Innovation Trigger : This is the big bang for a particular technology. An outstanding breakthrough in a potential technology, that can be harnessed for commercial purposes.
  2. Peak of Inflated expectations : Hyped by media , a technology in its early stages. Some organizations take appropriate consideration for such technology, many don’t.
  3. Trough of Disillusionment : Failing to live up to its hyped expectation, investors back off. Only the best service providers, who are catering to its “niche clientele of early adopters” survives.
  4. Slope of Enlightenment : The use of technology starts slowly getting momentum, and many companies starts using it.
  5. Plateau of Productivity : Now Everyone wants a piece of it.

Apart from this each technology is attached with a time frame. The time it will require to reach the plateau. It has four categories. less than 2 years, 2–5 years, 5–10 years, above 10 years, obsolete before plateau.

From this technologies, three core themes has emerged i.e, Engineering Trust, Accelerating growth, Sculpting change.

Hype cycle for emerging technologies 2021(Source: Gartner)

The technologies that could hit the plateau within 5–10 years are,

Data Fabric, AI-augmented software engineering. Multi experience, Active metadata Management, Decentralized Finance, Self-integrating applications, Homomorphic encryption, Industry clouds, Sovereign cloud, Physic informed AI, Machine readable legislation, Influence Engineering, AI-augmented design, Digital platform conductor tool.

Technologies that will plateau within 2 years are,

Decentralized identity, Non Fungible Token, Employee communications applications, Composable applications, Generative AI, Real Time incident centre-aas.

Let us see the underlying key trends identified Gartner and analyse to understand which technology should we look out for.

Engineering trust

Trust is a major driving force for emerging technologies in 2021. It requires security and reliability, thus also promotes innovation. Cloud based service providers are primarily dominant in USA and Asia, as a result, many European companies store their data in these regions, creating political uneasiness as well as concerns about retaining data control and complying with local regulations.

Technologies that are currently under engineering trust are Non Fungible Token, sovereign cloud, machine-readable legislation, decentralized identity, decentralized finance, homomorphic encryption, active metadata management, data fabric, real-time incident centre and employee communications applications.

Engineering Trust (Source: author)

The earliest to hit the market is thus Non Fungible Token, Decentralized Identity, Real-time incident centre-aas, Employee communications applications. This technologies must be engineered, repeatable, trusted, proven and scalable working practices and innovations to hit the plateau.

Accelerating growth

Once a business is established and conventional systems are working fine, it comes to scaling. Multiple technologies has been identified for this particular purpose, to help business scale. Like Generative AI, is speculated to discover 30% of new drugs for pharma companies by 2025. Few key technologies to look out for in these sections are quantum machine learning, multi experience, industry cloud, AI-driven innovation, generative AI and digital humans.

From this earliest to hit the market is Generative AI.


Another key trend identified, which in itself’s very nature is to disrupt. However, many business can leverage this technologies to gain significant advantage.

Organizations looking to sculpt change should consider composable applications, composable networks, AI-augmented design, AI-augmented software engineering, physics-informed AI, influence engineering, digital platform conductor tools, named data networking and self-integrating applications.

Among all these earliest to hit the plateau is composable applications.

For me personally I am excited about the Generative AI.

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