The Urge of the New: Fighting off Tech Hype in a Corporate Environment - a Civilian’s Guide

By Alexei Miller

Alexei Miller, Managing Director at DataArt, shares his advice on making corporate technology choices with readers of AMBA (The Association of MBAs), which includes examining the company's eco-system, letting others test the tech first, and not falling for hackneyed concepts.

“The ‘latest’ changes at such dizzying speed, it’s pointless to try ‘stay modern’ for the sake of it, unless you are prepared to re-engineer your entire technology system every 12 months. One reliable way for non-technical execs to evaluate the merits of an innovative tool, framework, data platform or programming language is to investigate the size and staying power of the community around it.

A successful technology hype curve has two humps. Initial excitement by the early adopters, possibly in large numbers, is almost always followed by a sharp drop, when many move on the next big thing and some of the initial hopes are not met. While it’s the end of the story for some tools at that point, sometimes it’s not. Little by little, technology gets better. Community support grows. New use cases are discussed. Making a bet on something in the middle of that second hump is one of the safest choices to make. Jumping in on the first upswing is outright risky.

Most systems will not survive beyond a few years. This is not because they were wrongly built, but because business changes so fast. It may feel counterintuitive, but investment into ensuring systems last longer is often wasted.”

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