In information technology (IT) we consistently hear about new technology that will absolutely revolutionize the way we build systems. After watching many of these technologies come and go, I've noticed that all of them experience a three-phase life cycle. Understanding where a technology is in this life cycle helps in understanding how it may or may not help your company.
When new technology debuts, it typically is accompanied by tremendous fanfare and hoopla. Let's look at extensible markup language (XML) as an example. XML entered Phase 1 approximately a year and half ago. During this time, we repeatedly heard the following claims: The majority of companies are building their systems using XML (two years ago most people didn't know what XML stood for), and XML will be the global meta data standard (anyone who reads this column realizes the inaccuracy of this statement). In fact, it was two years ago that I reviewed an individual's all-day class on XML. During the class, this person did not list one single issue or challenge was developing systems with XML technology. In fact, this individual described the tools that work with XML with the words "excellent performance, very mature and highly robust." My experience with new tools that utilize new technology is that they are much more likely to crash when you type in your login ID than they are to have excellent performance, be very mature and highly robust.
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