7 IT buzzwords that you need to know for 2020

Stay ahead of the incoming trends with this guide to the technology buzzwords you need to know for the next 12 months.

We live in a technological age and it seems there are almost daily advances in IT. Keeping up with every innovation can feel like a full-time job in itself but if you’re looking to take your career in tech to the next level then there are certain phrases you simply won’t be able to ignore.


You may not need to fully understand every single brand-new development but a grasp of the basics and where the industry is heading is a must. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten buzzwords that you need to know for 2020. Take a look and prepare to stay one step ahead of the curve for the next 12 months (and then take our quiz to see how much you know).


  1. Computer vision


What is it?


Ever wished you could pop a picture of the perfect sunset into a search engine and find out where it is? With computer vision, you can. As the name suggests, your computer can “see” what you’re looking at and obtain information based on it. Computer vision allows you to enter smartphone pictures (this could be items, places, objects and even people) into a google image search to bring up detailed results on who/what/where it is.


Sum up computer vision in a single sentence: Computer vision enables computing devices to extract detailed information from visual images.


Why do I need to know about it?


2020 is likely to be the year where computer vision truly makes it mark on the world. It’s already being used to help to facilitate facial recognition for security purposes and in Dubai airport it’s currently speeding up the security process (and obtaining valuable customer data that can inform future decisions in the process) but will soon be used for marketing, analytics and communications too.



  1. Connected Retail


What is it?


If you’ve ever bemoaned the poor service in a store compared to its excellent online offering, then you may just become a fan of this next buzzword. Connected retail is the bridge that links physical and digital retail. The idea is that through a cloud-based ecosystem a business can create a holistic approach to customer service. Disney World has used this method to great effect by offering smart wristbands to guests as they enter the park so that they can tailor their journey around the park and receive bespoke offers as they make their way around.


Sum up connected retail in a sentence: The link between the online and offline customer experience.


Why do I need to know about it?


This is another advancement that is set to grow exponentially in 2020. Not only will it provide benefits to the customers via a bespoke user experience, but it will allow brands to access a wealth of digital insights and allow savvy businesses to stay ahead of their competition.


AI stock photo


  1. Hyper-automation


What is it?


Scared of an artificial entity emulating you online or taking your job? Then, it might be time to look away now. Hyper-automation is the advancement that science fiction novelists have been writing about since the ‘60s.  It involves the creation of a self-sufficient AI bot that can carry out human tasks and, to an extent at least, assess tasks in the way that humans can.


Sum up hyper-automation in a sentence: A digital bot that can carry out complex and sophisticated human tasks.


Why do I need to know about it?


This really is the future of the Internet of Things and while there will always be further developments, we already have the cutting-edge capabilities right now. It uses the advanced technologies of AI and Machine Learning to augment human roles and even carry them out in place of humans to an extent. But panic not, hyper-automation is not being developed to do away with employees, rather to free staff from the more mundane aspects of their jobs so that they can focus on the bigger picture. It’s quite exciting really.


  1. Voice-as-User Interface (VUI)


What is it?


“Alexa, tell me the 7 IT buzzwords I need to know for 2020.” Voice-as-User Interface has exploded in the last five years with the likes of Siri, Alexa and Google Home all becoming commonplace in our homes. One of those things that we had no idea we needed a few years ago, many people now couldn’t live without their own virtual assistant.


Sum up Voice-as-User Interface (VUI) in a sentence: An interface that allows us to interact with machines using our voices.


Why do I need to know about it?

Experts predict that a whopping 50% of searches will be carried out with voice searched by the end of 2020. Already, voice activation can be seen on computers, controllers and digital dashboards and compared to the fiddly old process of taking your phone out of your pocket and typing something into Google, the user experience with voice automation is seamless and intuitive. What’s more thanks to Machine Learning and IT, our interactions with VUIs will only improve the more we use them. Get ready to wave goodbye to keyboards.

woman talking to device 


  1. Multi-experience


What is it?


Tired of only being able to answer your work emails on your work phone and computer? No, we thought not, but the multi-experience development platform will develop user interfaces so they’re not just for mobile and web but also chat, voice, augmented reality and wearables. The idea is that a multi-platform experience will allow users to work to the best of their abilities using multisensory and multi-touchpoint interfaces. In theory, it should make a working day a lot easier.


Sum up Multi-experience in a sentence: The single computer or platform model of working is transformed into a multi-touchpoint experience that includes wearables, sensors and cloud-based tools to make workers more productive.


Why do I need to know about it?


As the experience evolves it’s likely to become more immersive and include virtual and augmented reality. It’s a relatively new concept but is only going to grow in usefulness and popularity. This is one of those things that in a few years’ time we’ll wonder how we managed without it.


  1. Blockchain


What is it?


Let’s face it, we’ve all heard of blockchain but how well do most of us understand it let alone use it? Invented in 2008, Blockchain was intended to serve as a record keeper for bitcoin, the online currency that doesn’t rely on banks or institutions. Blockchain is the technology that allows users to exchange bitcoins in a safe way. Essentially, it keeps a record of each bitcoin transaction to make it safe from fraud or forgery.


Sum up blockchain in a single sentence: The technology that underpins all cryptocurrency transactions.


Why do I need to know about it?


The potential for blockchain is huge. It’s still a relatively underground form of technology but as bank fraud seems to be on the rise, blockchain only gets more secure, as illustrated by the fact that now banks are using the tech to carry out mammoth transactions. Blockchain seems to be an incorruptible encrypted recordkeeper that might just change the way we do currency. How this will affect us on a daily basis is still unknown, meaning we wouldn’t be surprised if it was still making buzz phrase lists in 10 years’ time.




  1. Internet of things


What is it?


Tired of not being able to boil the kettle from the comfort of your own bed? Don’t panic IoT is here. The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to be a buzzword well into the 20s and its popularity shows no sign of decreasing. Advancements mean that more and more things can now connect to the internet and to each other for a seamless experience for the end-user. Mobile devices, wearables, electronics, vehicles and consumer devices all ‘speak’ to one another so that our reality becomes a whole lot more interconnected.


Sum up the Internet of Things (IoT) in a single sentence: A virtual network that connects multiple devices that interact and cooperate with each other resulting in an interconnected reality for users.


Why do I need to know about it?


At present that major holdup in the “smart home revolution” is the various platforms on offer (Google, Amazon, Apple) refuse to interact seamlessly with one another. It’s looking likely that this problem will soon to resolved and then what you thought was IoT will seem like a pale imitation of what’s to come.




The rate of technological advancement doesn’t appear to be slowing down. In fact, the more advancements we make, the more possibilities they open up. By staying up-to-date with these developments, you place yourself and your business one step ahead of the competition.

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