16 Software Development Trends That Will Dominate The Industry in 2021 and Beyond

Santosh Karla | 5 min read

Every technology leader must consider both the present and future state of technology when trying to drive innovation, transformation, and business-critical sustainability. Given the software development industry is constantly evolving. For technology leaders, this is both a challenge and an opportunity. From DevSecOps to low-code apps, there’s something new every month (and sometimes every day). You can’t just look at what exists now.

According to the Forbes Technology Council who study both current and forecasted industry trends, 16 software development trends will dominate the technology industry in the months ahead.

In this article, we discussed these 16 trends to help you understand where your organization stands and what you need to do to avoid the possible impact.

User Experience Design

Companies are reimagining their customer engagement models throughout every industry to better adjust to the disruption created by the pandemic. The user-experience-lead software development approach is critical for redesigning customer-facing products and services that allow companies to engage and retain customers in today’s phygital world.

Near-perfect Digital Experiences

Medallia Experience 21’s speakers highlighted five key Digital Experience lessons:

  • Draw inspiration from other industries
  • Invest in perfecting “Phygital” experiences
  • Measure unsolicited digital feedback
  • Prioritize Automation, and
  • Incorporate video into feedback loops

As more and more customers turn to digital platforms, integrated, omnichannel, and seamless digital experience presents exciting opportunities for brands to differentiate. To deliver near-perfect digital experiences, Front-end development will take center stage. Developers will need to take on skills and responsibilities to improve efficiency, accelerate remediation and bring massive improvements to the brand-customer experience.

Native Mobile Development Languages

Python isn’t the language of the future. Then what is?

Modern native mobile-development languages like Kotlin and Swift seem to have a promising future. Google’s research report highlights that over 50% of professional Android developers now use Kotlin; it’s been one of the most-loved languages for two years running on Stack Overflow and one of the fastest-growing on GitHub in the number of contributors.

Other programming languages like Rust improve speed, memory safety, and parallelism to address the growing demand for applications.

DevSecOps

DevSecOps applies the same DevOps principle of shifting left by incorporating security testing and vulnerability detection into the development life cycle. Three enterprises, namely, Microsoft, Verizon, and Pokemon, have entirely different business models and security needs, but all three of them benefit from a DevSecOps approach.

It’s becoming concerned about developers accessing the entire stack because it could lead to the mass destruction of the cloud infrastructure. Thus, DevSecOps teams monitor activity and need permission to assign the least privileges.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Last year, the desktop vs. mobile users were in the ratio of 44:52. A Gladly report has revealed that 71% of consumers expect a comparable product experience across channels. That’s where PWAs come in.

Spotify, The Washington Post, BMW, Adidas, Trivago, Pinterest, and many other companies have already started using PWA and begun to witness substantial improvements in their business.

DevSecOps teams must closely observe the increasing use of progressive Web apps. Using PWAs encourages cross-platform application development when combined with the adoption of advanced low-code technologies.

App developers must ensure security from the beginning for timely deployments and updates for customers.

The API Economy

The “API Economy” refers to the economy of interacting, interoperable and complementary, and interdependent (open) application programming interfaces (APIs). APIs can make services offered by third parties as easy to use as those offered by a company’s departments.

The API economy is increasingly becoming complicated and dominating and is predicted to continue to be so in the future. It will provide the ability to collaborate with outside entities and create new business models.

Mobile Responsive Design

Mobile-responsive design is already taking the market by storm and is forecasted to dominate the scene for many years to come. There are hundreds of reports and statistics to prove that.

We’re obsessed with our smartphones – right from shopping, connecting with friends, and consuming content online. All of it is dependent on mobile-friendly design.

Moreover, 85% of adults think that a website’s mobile version should be better than its desktop version. More than 50% of internet users won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website. Average smartphone conversion rates are up 64% compared to desktop conversion rates.

Continuous Integration & Delivery (CI/CD)

The rapid adoption of CI/CD is a part of a larger shift towards DevOps so that organizations can hyper-automate for better performance and drive rapid digital transformation.

CI/CD continuously performs testing to identify and resolve bugs before they result in downtime and the use of automated pipelines for deployments. Firms like McKinsey use CI/CD in DevSecOps transformation, and Agile development also.

Code-As-A-Service (CaaS)

CaaS will increase the pace of leveraging platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)—and thus cloud computing.

It will help in the ever-growing need for universal development (unlike iOS or Android) and provide built-in artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and Internet of Things modules, allowing easy access to these technologies.

Balanced Development Automation

Software development evolves from automated tech pipelines to value streams where “cross-functional” goes beyond IT into other parts of the organization. Thus, moving away from software development automation to balanced development automation is a trend that includes other business teams like risk, compliance, and legal.

Vulnerability Exposure Programs

Open-source policy templates like disclose.io provided free assistance around Election Security VDPs, and implementing these programs continues to get easier.

The 2020 Vulnerability and Threat Trends Report Mid-Year Update highlights how cybercriminals have leveraged the pandemic-inflicted disruption to build new ransomware samples and sophisticate their tools to threaten and attack the infrastructure of various enterprises across sectors.

A Shift-left Approach to Security and Compliance

Security and compliance practices have been mainly reactive so far as teams grapple with remediating security concerns. Developers and security teams can use a “shift left” approach to identify security issues before deploying cloud resources. It improves productivity and mitigates security and compliance risks before runtime.

Serverless Computing

The serverless computing paradigm is one of the fastest-growing cloud services models for software development. IBM stated that serverless computing is 100% efficient. These models will continue to dominate the industry because it enables rapid application development without server management, and can scale operations quickly.

E-Commerce Cloud Integration

Cloud integration will be a higher priority for e-commerce. We can already see it in Ranosys, which has integrated Microsoft Business Central in its flagship Adobe Commerce Accelerator Solution. Cloud-based e-commerce platforms that fail to integrate with outside services mean that business owners will migrate to more suitable storefronts.

Machine Learning Operations

Machine learning operations need to advance to at least a modicum of operational excellence. Uber uses MLOps to connect drivers efficiently, Netflix uses it for personalized streaming service, and DoorDash uses it to get rid of the last mile problem.

MLOps includes:

  • Automated concept-drift detection (i.e., how production data differs from training data).
  • Real-time feedback on critical key KPIs in production.
  • Pre-built support for updating models based on production success and integration with AutoML.

Low Code/No Code Platforms (LCNC)

Finally, one of the most popular and growing technologies will continue to rise in popularity. Through these solutions, businesses can accelerate their digital transformation without a technical resource at every step. For example – Zoho Creator, Salesforce Lightning, Appian, etc.

Technology Vision Report 2021 highlights that more than a third of executives are already investing in LCNC. These apps ensure compliance with travel policy, speed up the accounts payable process, track other apps, and perform all tasks done painstakingly by humans before.

Trends usually don’t stay unclear for long, especially ones that are shaping the future of the software development world. I hope these upcoming trends are summed up in this article serves as a snapshot of all things you need to know to prepare yourself for what’s in store.

Learn more about how CompuGain can help you drive innovation in your business with our software engineering team.