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Don’t go chasing waterfalls


Person standing in a cave behind a waterfall

The pace of technological advancement in the modern world is relentless. From AI and ML to blockchain and NFTs (what was that about??), there are always new technologies and trends that promise to revolutionize the way organizations do business. Keeping up with these trends is essential for companies that want to remain competitive, but the speed of change can also be overwhelming. In many cases, organizations try to keep up with the latest technology trends and hype cycles, only to find that by the time they are ready to implement the old one, a new trend has already emerged.

This phenomenon is known as “hype cycle fatigue,” and it is a real challenge for organizations in all industries. The hype cycle is a model developed by the research firm Gartner, which describes the journey of a technology from its inception to its widespread adoption. According to Gartner, the cycle starts with a technology trigger, which generates a great deal of excitement and hype. As the technology matures, expectations become more realistic, and the hype dies down. Finally, the technology reaches a plateau of productivity, where it is widely adopted and integrated into everyday business processes (except NFTs… again WTF??).

The problem for many organizations is that they get caught up in the hype cycle and invest heavily in a technology when it is still in the early stages. They spend time and resources trying to figure out how to implement it, only to find that by the time they are ready to launch, a new technology has emerged and the old one is no longer relevant. This can lead to frustration and disappointment, as well as wasted time and money.

One of the reasons that organizations struggle to keep up with the pace of technological change is that they often have complex legacy systems that are difficult to update or replace (blink twice now if you are still using a ‘black-and-green’ screen system). These systems may be crucial to the organization’s operations, but they can also be a barrier to innovation. Updating these systems can be time-consuming and expensive, and may require significant investment in new infrastructure and training.

Another challenge is that many organizations struggle to identify which technologies are worth investing in. With so many new technologies emerging all the time, it can be difficult to separate the hype from the reality - and more importantly, the necessary. Some technologies may seem like they have enormous potential, only to fizzle out over time. Others may be dismissed as hype, but turn out to be game-changers.The more an organization chooses the wrong side of these 2 coins, the more frustrated their people get with the seemingly avoidable disruption.

Woman with laptop looking overwhelmed by 3 people trying to hand her information
To keep up with the pace of technological change, organizations need to adopt a more agile approach to innovation. This means being open to experimentation and iteration, and being willing to pivot quickly if a particular technology doesn’t work out. It also means embracing a culture of continuous learning, where employees are encouraged to explore new technologies and develop new skills.

Collaboration is essential. Organizations that are successful at keeping up with the latest technology trends are those that collaborate with external partners, such as startups and other innovators. By working together, they can share knowledge and resources, and develop new products and services more quickly and efficiently.

Ultimately, the key to keeping up with the pace of technological change is to be strategic and focused as it’s only going to accelerate in the years to come. Rather than trying to invest in every new technology that comes along, organizations need to identify which ones are most relevant to their business and industry, and focus their resources on those. They also need to be willing to take calculated risks, and to invest in the people and infrastructure needed to support innovation. By doing so, they can stay ahead of the hype cycle and remain relevant in an increasingly competitive marketplace.