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Top 10 technologies to learn in 2020

The first industrial revolution was initiated in 18th century in which new manufacturing processes were introduced with the help of steam-powered engines. Then, in late 19th century the world went through the Second Industrial Revolution which is also called Technological Revolution. This revolution was characterized with a boom in the manufacturing industry and mass production with help of scientific applications. Moving ahead, Electronics and Information Technology were responsible for drifting the world into the Third Revolution. Are we standing on the brink of 4th Industrial Revolution? This is one of the most trending questions nowadays. The reason being technology is evolving faster than ever. New technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain Technology, Internet of Things, Big Data, Machine Learning etc. are no more alien to us. Same as the previous revolutions, these new technologies are bound to create havoc and will disrupt the existing modus operandi. Companies and individuals who don’t keep up with some of the major tech trends run the risk of being left behind. The recent trends show us 10 most imminent technologies everyone should get ready for in the year 2020. In this article we will be exploring the significance and impact of these technologies.


Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most important and transformative technology of our times. Robots with human-like capabilities are no more confined to the Hollywood movies. Rather, AI has already started to impact our day-to-day life. For instance, Google is using artificial intelligence to help their algorithms to acquiring smart understanding. AI helps Google to make accurate results. The personal assistant of Google on smartphones like SIRI is also another reflection of AI. According to an estimation made by MarketsandMarkets.com, AI market, by 2025, will reach $191 billion.

In 2014, Google bought artificial intelligence startup DeepMind at the cost of $400 million. DeepMind carries out research to build safe and efficient AI systems which can find new ways to solve today’s problems. Let’s take an example of Amazon – an American multinational giant – which focuses primarily on e-commerce. Using AI Amazon’s intelligent voice assistant, Alexa analyses the human voice and generates a suitable response. Convenience stores in the US named Amazon Go are also AI-powered. These stores are cashier-less and are managed completely with AI technology.

Last but not the least, Intel has recently invested approximately $117 million in 14 disruptive tech startups, all of which are developing AI platforms. Another appropriate example is of Mark Zuckerberg who was quite quick in considering the significance of AI, therefore, inaugurated the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) group.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is the ability of a machine or system through it automatically learns and improves from previous experiences any further programming. Being an application of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning makes the system smart enough that it starts to learn from data, identify patterns and respond with no-to-minimum human interference. As per the statistics, the estimated size of the US deep learning software market by the year 2025 will be approximately $1000 million.

Machine Learning will be useful in Risk management, Performance analysis and reporting, Trading and investing idea generation, and Automation. Considering its relevance and growing popularity, Monster.com – a global employment website– declared Machine Learning one of the three most in-demand skills. It has also been recorded that because of using machine learning, the accuracy of Google Translate’s algorithm got increased 55 to 85 percent.

Big Data Analytics

Big Data is a large volume of data (structure or unstructured) containing complexities because of which traditional data processing applications may not be able to make use of it effectively. There are several factors responsible for the generation of this huge amount of data at quite an impressive pace. These include mobile data traffic, cloud computing etc. With the advent of 5G and IoT, the speed of this data production will definitely increase by leaps and bounds. Big Data carries critical importance for corporate as well as public sector organizations. Using data effectively gives useful insights in return of which intelligent decisions are made, hence, overall productivity and user-experience gets enhanced. As per the rough idea, over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is generated on day-to-day basis worldwide which will grow up to 5.2 zettabytes by 2025. IBM is leading in the list of organizations which have been generating revenue through Big Data. The other leading vendors are Dell, HP, Oracle, SAP, Teradata, SAS Institute, Accenture, Deloitte and PwC.

Internet Of Things (IOT)

Internet of Things also known as IoT is next big thing that is going to create ripples in the year 2020. The Internet of Things is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, and humans. Today, billions of devices are sharing wireless connection with each other. IoT enables us to enable these devices communicate real-time data with no-to-minimum human interference. On a larger scale, IoT envisions to create smart environments where activities are occurring on automation. A few examples include universities where learning is imparted through digital means such as tablets, e-curriculum etc. Smart traffic is comprised of Smart lights, sensors, and detectors to reduce day-to-day congestion by improving traffic flow.

IoT has gained prominence in quite a less period of time. According to statistics, over 27 billion IoT devices are active currently. The number of cellular IoT connections is expected to be more than 3.5 billion by 2023. Furthermore, the number of cellular IoT connections will reach up to 3.5 billion with the home market of staggering $53 billion within a decade.

Virtual Reality

Who else doesn’t remember the science fiction action film ‘Matrix’ released in the year 1999. The movie was based on a war between machines and human beings who were captured in virtual reality system. It was essentially depiction of Virtual Reality. Today, we are quite familiar with the use of VR and AR which have been major source of entertainment and learning. Majority of us have been to cinema houses to watch a 3D movie. Furthermore, VR has taken the gaming industry to the next level. Revenue generated from VR in gaming industry has reached up to $23 billion.  Sony’s Play Station and Xbox are the market leaders in utilizing VR technology. Statistics reveal that over 171 million people use VR technology today.

The cutting-edge technology of VR has also impacted the experience of shopping. VR has been proving quite instrumental for the customers providing them 360 degree view of the products. Marketers are also in a better position to sell their products using VR technology. VR can generate greater emotional appeal and enhance user experience.

Cyber Security

Privacy in today’s technology-driven world has become something quite unknown. The intruders may get access to even most private parts of your life that is there in the digital world. Embracing this harsh reality, businesses spend millions to protect their systems from cybercriminals and to compensate to the damages caused by such elements. The damages caused by cyber world crimes will reach $6 trillion annually by the start of 2021. This amount is bigger than annual costs for natural disasters.

Banking sector has turned out to be the most vulnerable sector when it comes to being the prey of cyber attackers. The most rampant cyber threats with respect to banking sector are ATM frauds, service denials, frauds associated with Credit Card, phishing, etc. Pakistan also comes in the list of countries which are at the risk of cyberattacks. The bitter memory of the cyber-attack on BankIslami is still fresh which cost it Rs2.6 million from the international operations.

According to a study conducted by Comparitech, Pakistan was ranked 7th in terms of the countries with the worst cybersecurity. Different sources were utilized in order to collect data for this study. These include Kaspersky, the Global Strategies Index, and Global Security Index (ITU). Global giants such as Addidas, Accenture, FedEx, and ABC also faced cyber-attacks and lost their valuable data at the hands of security breachers. Therefore, information security has become one of the most relevant skills in our time and must be learned in order to come up with fool-proof protection mechanism.


Cryptocurrency has been quite ‘in’ in the market over the last ten years. Blockchain is the technology that is responsible for keeping record behind the Bitcoin network. The term Blockchain can be broken down into “block” and “chain”. Here, “block” is the digital information that is stored in “chain” or a public database.

The popularity of blockchain has been increasing after every passing day. More number of businesses are realizing potential of this technology to create rifts across the industries globally. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that in the next five years the expected gain of blockchain industry will reach $20 billion in profits.

Besides private sector entities, government organizations are also trying their hands on blockchain. Blockchain technology has influenced numerous industries such as financial services, banking sector, transportation, logistics, retail, healthcare etc. Tech Giants, for instance, Microsoft, IBM, Samsung, and Amazon are involved in numerous projects based on blockchain technology. As far as market share is concerned, IBM is on the lead with 32%, Accenture with 17%, and Microsoft with 19%. Rest of the 33% of market share are held by other organizations.

The potential of block chain, though quite promising, yet has not been realized fully. Different organizations are expected to utilize blockchain technology in near future to make most out this new technology by involving it into their everyday business operations.

As per the experts, the entire market size will reach up to $7.59 billion by the year 2024. Despite this, blockchain is still considered young and not fully developed, therefore, the time is ripe to take maximum advantage of it.

Functioning Of DevOps

The primary function of DevOps is to ensure communication between Development and Operations, cross-practicality and better working relationship. It was 2009, when the concept of DevOps was explored by Patrick Debois – also called ‘Father of DevOps’. This technology is responsible for automating the processes between IT teams and software development. It allows them to carry out tests and release software at a faster pace with maximum reliability. Using DevOps, organizations are able to render services at higher speed and improve their products in minimum time.

DevOps has gained much popularity among the enterprises of different sizes and scopes. As businesses are largely driven by technology, the relevance of DevOps has increased multiple times. DevOps has been utilized by the organizations for streamlining IT and business, managing digital transformation, and improving customer experience. A study conducted by IDC says that the number of bits in the accumulated data globally will be equal to the stars in the universe. The digital universe of today has become so dynamic that currently, its size estimates to be 44 zettabytes, which doubles itself every two years. Forrester Research conducted a survey, according to which, 90 percent of responding organizations had implemented DevOps. As per the study conducted by IDC, the DevOps market will achieve the benchmark of $6.6 billion in 2022.

Quantum Computing

Quantum computers have an edge on conventional computers which perform operations using bits such as up or down, on or off, and 1s or 0s. However, quantum computers use quantum bits, or qubits, to encode information. This allows them to process comparatively more data at a faster pace.

Last year, Google claimed to have achieved a long sought breakthrough. The world’s largest search engine termed this breakthrough as “quantum supremacy,” in which a Quantum computer carried out a calculation in merely 3 minutes 20 seconds while to perform the same activity the conventional computer would have taken more than 10,000 years.

The market leaders of Quantum Computing are International Business Machines Corporation IBM, 1QB Information Technologies, Cambridge Quantum Computing, IonQ, QbitLogic, QC Ware, Quantum Circuits, Qubitekk, QxBranch, and Rigetti Computing. Global “Quantum Computing” Market Research Report 2020-2026, covering the scope of Quantum Computing, provides ample amount of data about this technology. As per the report, the years ranging from 2019-2026 are going to be extremely important for the development of Quantum Computing. The world will experience major shift towards Quantum computers as they are highly efficient as compared to the conventional machines.

Quantum computing are likely to be proved highly instrumental in resolving the issues related to Financial Modeling, Cybersecurity, Cleaner Fertilization, Drug Development, Traffic Optimization, Better Batteries, Climate Change, Weather Forecasting and Artificial Intelligence and much more.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is responsible for enhanced data storage and increased computing power. The cloud provides an apt replacement of physical location for website hosting and data storage. Cloud Computing not only enhances capacity of a device to store large amount of data but it also increases its overall efficiency.

Cloud Computing has emerged as a solution to a lot of problem that were posed by the technological advancement. Firstly, it provides storage outside the device. Secondly, this data is synchronized and can easily be accessed anywhere. Furthermore, Cloud computing also provides solution to the growing problem of cyber security. Given the lack of physical space, digital is the next best thing. And in a world where big data is paramount, having a place to put it is key. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud are the top three market giants of cloud computing.

The cloud computing statistics for 2019 reveals that the total spent globally on cloud computing is around $210 billion last year. The top five spenders on cloud computing are: US, China and UK are the top three spenders on cloud computing with the amount ($124.6 billion), ($10.5 billion) and ($10 billion) respectively. Germany ($9.5 billion), and Japan ($7.4 billion) secure 4th and 5th position in this list.

Considering the popularity of cloud computing, experts predicted that 83% of workloads of organization would end up on the cloud by 2020. On the global level, it is expected that in the current year cloud computing market will exceed $330 billion. According to Gartner, cloud computing has widespread acceptance across the industry at unexpected pace. Therefore, it is a high time to learn ins and outs of this newly emerged technology.


You may have heard that ‘Change is the only constant’. In this world of technological advancement, every other day, there is something new that is trending across the market. Technology is evolving at an unprecedented pace which enables even faster change and progress. Therefore, the key to remain relevant is to continuously learning the new skills. On the other hand, not being able to do so may cost an arm and a leg. Considering the scope of the new technologies, it is a suitable time to jump on the bandwagon and get yourself equipped with digital skills.

The writer is Director ICT & Founding Director of Centre for Information and Communication Technology at IBA. He tweets @imranbatada

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