the top 5 technology skills to invest in over the next decade

TechnologyImagine this scenario - A driverless car takes you back home after a long day at work. You reach home at a fraction of the time you once did: with advanced GPS and real-time analytics, your car can now self-navigate via the best route. As you reach your doorstep, a delivery vehicle—also driverless—pulls over to hand you grocery items ordered by your smart fridge. You walk in through the door as lights, the AC and your favorite music all automatically switch on and the kettle comes on to boil water for some refreshing tea.

A few years ago, this scene might have seemed straight out of a sci-fi movie. Today however, it is an imminent reality and a solid possibility. The digital revolution set in motion by the ‘discovery’ of the internet is now on a hitherto never imagined and explosive growth trajectory. While the future is hard to predict and possibilities are infinite, one thing is clear. With the fourth industrial revolution fully underway, the business landscape will never be the same again.

As companies jostle in a crowded marketplace to innovate and garner a larger share of revenue and a loyal customer base, whatever the nature of your business, here are five technologies to watch out for and consider investing in. These are set to change the very landscape in which we operate today and change the way we live.

cloud computing

One of the biggest buzzwords of the last decade, cloud computing and its impact is only likely to grow. One report suggests that by 2020, 83% of enterprise workloads will be on the cloud1 and the worldwide public cloud services market will reach US$ 383 billion by 2020.2

A cloud-based environment allows for better collaboration as employees interact and exchange files and data on the cloud, saving data to a remote database instead of proprietary hard drives or expensive and capacious local storage devices. Device-independence and seamless integration will boost performance and productivity. Companies can also hope to save big on information management technology, infrastructure, expensive software upgrades and even hardware updates through virtualized hardware.

robotic process automation (RPA)

RPA software has the potential to redefine the way businesses are run. One study believes that companies which currently save 65% by offshoring can hope to save over 90% through RPA3. China hopes to invest US$ 154 billion by installing robots, while more than a third of jobs in the UK could be at high risk of automation by 2030. Robots are also likely to take over 38% of jobs in the US in the next 15 years4.

However, RPA will not merely be about reducing operational costs or the number of employees. Research shows that robots can inspire better performance, maximize efficiency and increase job satisfaction among employees by taking over routine and mundane tasks and pushing humans into more productive roles5.

artificial intelligence (AI)

technologyFrom generating leads to reducing errors to helping you find the right candidates quickly, artificial intelligence is poised to add immense value to every business. As the economy becomes increasingly data-driven, the role of AI too will become more critical. AI-backed analytics can wade through large reams of data, aiding humans to make evidence-based, insight-driven decisions6.

Machine learning applies complex algorithms to analyze past behavior, changing the way software behaves by making it work proactively based on previous results or data. This means that as it continues to learn from humans, machines can make intelligent conclusions without human intervention.

AI can also negate human errors, creating a low-risk environment for the company. It can support cybersecurity measures by identifying deviations from usual patterns and algorithms, and it can also provide a great fillip to CX by gathering immensely valuable data about a client based on previous interactions.


Millions of digital assets dispersed on the web today are beyond the purview of an organization’s control. Companies without cybersecurity protection are in danger of losing confidential data like social security numbers, passcodes, payment information and client contacts. Investing in surveillance and reconnaissance tools should therefore be a prerogative for all business operations—both B2B and B2C.

With the advent of AI, cybersecurity is expected to attain new heights. By 2026, it is projected to reach US$ 38.2 billion7. A 2018 study indicates that the average data breach can cost companies about US$ 3.86 million while large-scale breaches can cost up to US$ 350 million8. Obviously, as digital transactions continue to grow, companies cannot afford to ignore the cyberthreat landscape.

immersive technologies

Immersive technologies are no longer viewed as esoteric. Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) are increasingly being leveraged alongside traditional interfaces to deliver immersive user experiences. Companies (and the military!) are actively experimenting with them to conduct personnel training, market goods and delight consumers9.

By 2022, 70% of enterprises will be experimenting with immersive technologies for consumer and enterprise use, and 25% will have deployed to production10. Conversational interfaces such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Siri will only grow and entire CX use cases will center around these platforms. Voice and voice-recognition AI will conduct numerous exchanges on behalf of customers. Customers will shift from thinking about individual devices and fragmented user interface (UI) technologies to a multichannel and multimodal experience11