Each company is gradually becoming a software business. As digital transformation accelerates, the software will fundamentally change what companies do, how they do it, and the services they provide to their customers. As a result, software development is becoming a turning point, if not a strategic imperative, for many organizations.
In this article, we will concern with some contemporary practices that people can implement in their work to be relevant these days.
Opportunities for low-code development
A growing trend in software development is low code development. Low-code platforms are becoming increasingly popular as the demand for quick and easy application creation grows. Anyone with basic programming knowledge can now try to build their applications.
Low-code solutions are popular because they allow developers to speed up the development process. Moreover, low-code development has become a popular option because the demand for software developers outstrips the available supply. However, small code development is not a sustainable long-term solution because the software built this way is not robust enough to meet the changing demands of your business.
However, as the world is still grappling with the pandemic and the urgent need for software developers, low-code development can be expected to play a significant role in 2022.
Demand for outsourcing will continue to grow
The global software industry is expected to reach $536.24 billion by 2022, and the offshore software development services market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.72%.
Many businesses are finding they lack the resources needed to meet the industry’s ever-changing needs. Due to the difficulty of finding IT talent in the local market, businesses are turning to software development companies for highly skilled professionals outside their area (nearby or offshore).
Outsourcing teams can perform various tasks, including coding, testing, and product management, and are proficient in multiple programming languages. Delegating software development to professionals from IT companies is becoming more and more popular and will become even more popular in 2022.
The growing need for IT outsourcing can be explained by the need for companies to innovate quickly and cost-effectively.
In addition to meeting these needs, outsourcing helps companies access the most qualified people without diverting from their core competencies.
As management tools are constantly being improved, it becomes easier to establish an efficient workflow and productive relationships between in-house and outsourced employees.
Centralized Infrastructure: Cloud Oriented
The public cloud will continue to crowd out regional data centers. It will become the main infrastructure for enterprises, governments, and startups in the coming years.
Digital innovations already fuel the public cloud, and this trend will remain in 2022. To democratize security, it introduces a variety of blockchain novelty and forms available to users.
Gartner predicts that public cloud revenue will grow by 16% in 2022.
If you’re running a digital company, it’s time to get serious about the cloud. And for engineers, it’s time to start exploring this area.
Decentralized Infrastructure: Edge Computing
Unlike the public cloud, which provides storage, computing power, and AI/ML in a central location (availability zone, region), edge computing allows you to place all this next to the client.
Scenarios where edge computing is needed:
- Low latency access (gaming)
- Poor network bandwidth (offshore sites)
- No network
- Regulatory requirements
- Smart and powerful devices (Internet of things)
With the development of 5G, Web 3.0, and other innovative technologies, edge computing will become widespread in 2022 and beyond. In addition, edge computing will be actively implemented in retail in the near future.
Public cloud providers AWS, Azure, and GCP also offer many edge computing services, such as AWS Snow Family, AWS IoT Greengrass, Azure Stack Edge, Azure Edge Zone, and Google Distributed Cloud.
Public cloud: multi-cloud
One of the main challenges of introducing a public cloud is vendor lock-in. When you turn to a public cloud provider for your infrastructure, storage, and data processing space, you become dependent on it. To avoid this, many companies use the services of multiple providers. This results in dependency on various vendors. If you cannot use one public cloud (such as CosmosDB, AWS S3, and BigTable) in another public cloud, you cannot avoid vendor dependency.
Fortunately, there is a reverse trend – services that are API compatible with widespread public cloud services. Here are just a few of the many services that provide cloud neutrality:
- MinIO (compatible with S3)
- Aviatrix (cloud-based network)
- Volterra (distributed cloud computing service)
- LightOS (cloud-centric storage)
In addition, Google is working on introducing its popular services (Big Query) to other public clouds (AWS and Azure).
Development of software for e-commerce
While most businesses faced tough economic times in 2021, the e-commerce market has peaked due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many companies have switched to online trading and delivery services, as this was the only option for safe shopping during the quarantine.
However, the e-commerce industry will continue to evolve post-pandemic. Statista says businesses will follow this trend, with the e-commerce market expected to grow to 22% by 2023, up from 14.1% in 2019.
E-commerce apps have proven to significantly improve the customer experience and push toward business process automation during the pandemic. Companies will continue implementing digital e-commerce solutions, making them more attractive to customers.
Continuous growth of artificial intelligence and machine learning
These technologies have the potential to change every industry, supporting organizations to achieve their business goals, make important decisions, and create innovative products and services.
These disruptive technologies could change every industry
Here are just some of the examples:
- Healthcare: Assisting physicians in diagnosing and prescribing treatment
- Logistics: vehicle management, driver behavior analysis
- Education: automated and fair evaluation
- E-Commerce: Better Customer Service with Chatbots
- Smart Home: Energy Analysis
- Logistics: autonomous vehicles and route optimization
- Other: acceleration and smoothing of processes, more accurate forecasts
AI and ML allow you to delegate a wide range of tasks that humans usually perform to computers that can solve these tasks faster, more efficiently, and eliminate errors.
The AI/ML sector is expected to grow by an average of 33% by 2027. It is estimated that by 2022, companies will implement at least 35 AI initiatives into their operations.
More IoT Solutions
With the proliferation of smart devices, everything will soon become part of the Internet of Things. According to Gartner, 61% of enterprises have reached a high level of IoT maturity, and the hype around this technology will not subside. This makes IoT one of the most popular software development technologies.
The opportunities for IoT for businesses are significant: predictive maintenance of equipment and facilities, real-time tracking of vehicles and cargo, real-time patient health monitoring, enhanced property security, smart energy consumption, and more. This technology is best represented in healthcare, logistics, the public sector, manufacturing, hospitality, etc.
The Internet of Things is not a big deal; instead, it is a large number of small things that can significantly impact a business and provide a competitive advantage in a short period. It is one of the most promising technologies today, and its full potential will only be exploited in the future.
Container: Docker will replace Kubernetes
Containers are the most important technology in today’s IT industry. And the Kubernetes platform has played a significant role in promoting and democratizing it. Thanks to great effort, careful design, and implementation, Kubernetes is a reliable technology today. And thanks to the laconic visible design (actions, volume), it can be used in many cases without notable changes.
However, Kubernetes will see less use in the coming years, although it remains the engine of modern software development. At the same time, more attention is being paid to new ways to deploy and use Kubernetes, and their growth is slowing as the technology matures.
Like Kubernetes, Docker has played a vital role in adopting containers. Unfortunately, the company failed to monetize Docker. Recently, it became possible to order a new model.
PWA is gaining popularity
Progressive Web Apps have been around for quite some time due to their native app-like user interface. PWA can be accessed from any browser and run on any device. In addition, PWAs are lightweight and provide easy access to web pages.
PWA is a cost-effective approach for organizations to build a cross-platform mobile app without hiring developers specializing in native app development. Ideal for an application with simple functionality, PWA can also be used to test more complex application ideas as an MVP (Minimum Viable Product).
According to Statista, in 2021, 9% of e-commerce businesses have invested in PWAs. In addition, 8% of e-commerce firms have already implemented PWAs.
Cybersecurity: the growing importance of security
Cybersecurity is an essential topic for startups and mid-sized businesses. Many cannot insure it properly due to a lack of finances. Only large companies can afford specialized security services.
One of the most significant benefits of public cloud providers is the democratization of cybersecurity. With public cloud services, startups and mid-sized companies can deploy highly secure applications at a low cost.
A bad part of this approach is that if the security of the public cloud is breached, millions of businesses will suffer. In 2021, there have already been several high-profile exposure cases. This year, public clouds and Linux will work harder to improve security.
Another challenge is the current development method (open source). One of the developers, often in his spare time, creates an essential module/library. Unfortunately, this module/library affects almost every company in the world. One of the most considerable reverberations was a vulnerability issue in Log4J that affected nearly half of the world’s computer companies.
It’s time for tech giants to rethink the open-source model, which allows developers to maintain the bulk of the software without any financial benefit and support.
Blockchain: Development Beyond Cryptocurrency
Blockchain is often associated with cryptocurrency. Whenever a cryptocurrency scam is exposed, the blockchain is targeted.
Blockchain has become one of the most disruptive technologies of the 21st century. Cryptocurrency is the most famous example of its use, but the blockchain is much more than cryptocurrency. It can change many areas and affect our daily life.
In 2021 we saw a prevalent new use case for the blockchain: NFT (non-fungible tokens). Today, NFTs are more commonly used in digital art, but more applications can be found in 2022.
With everyone taking blockchain seriously, vast amounts of money will be spent on this technology in 2022.
Blockchain is often criticized for being energy intensive. As a result, many companies want to move from an energy-intensive proof-of-work model to an energy-efficient proof-of-work model. Ethereum, a popular and widely used blockchain, moves to proof-of-stake in 2022.
Databases: multi-model and multi-purpose databases
In the last few years, there has been a trend to use a particular database corresponding to a specific use case:
- Relational database management system (RDBMS) for transactional operations with structured data
- Database with wide columns for distributed databases with low latency
- A key-value store for a distributed cache
- Graph database for purely relational data
- Document database for transactional use cases with semi-structured data
- Search engines for full-text and advanced search (for example, search by location)
- Distributed SQL for a distributed database with low latency and transaction guarantee
- OLAP database for data warehousing and data analytics
The disadvantage of this approach is that a single application often requires multiple databases. There is also a new trend where each database offers more than one model and serves more than one use case. Pioneers in several such databases are:
- PostgreSQL (multi-model database)
- Azure CosmosDB (multi-model, multi-purpose DB)
- SingleStore (OLAP and OLTP)
In 2022, more databases are appearing that offer multi-model and multi-purpose use.
Robotics will become more common
In 2022 robotics becomes more common in everyday life. Healthcare, agriculture, automotive, warehousing, and supply chain management will benefit from robotics-based automation, which will continue to evolve.
For robotics companies in logistics and retail, the COVID-19 pandemic presents both challenges and opportunities. Supply chain inefficiencies were exposed due to unexpected strain on supply systems and product shortages. It is also clear that robots and automation provide manufacturers with a safe way to keep their business running.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) facilitates the automation of repetitive activities. In 2022, RPA will expand and becomes a standard business technology. CIOs use RPA to free employees from monotonous, repetitive tasks and allow them to do more rewarding work.
Finally, nanorobots, small sensors with limited processing power, are becoming increasingly popular. Nanomedicine may be one of the first applications of these nanotechnologies. For example, biological machines detect and destroy cancer cells or deliver drugs.
Each of the practices in software development is a driving force for change. Together, they point to a compelling yet unmanifested new kind of developer experience. We can see the details at work and how they move, but the future is more and more challenging.