The Omicron variant’s worrying emergence is already leading us into another year of global disruption. With travel and mobility restrictions likely to be brought back once again, bridging the technology gap becomes more important than ever for companies to maintain competitiveness. Amidst market uncertainties, however, delivering robust software solutions must require speed and precision at scale. Thus, we expect to see remote operation, automation, and faster deployment become the primary drivers of software innovations in 2022.
So without any further ado, here are seven disruptive technologies that will take center stage in custom software development trends next year:
- Cloud Technology
Cloud computing will undoubtedly remain the technological mainstay in custom software development thanks to its high mobility and resiliency, reasonable maintenance costs, and near-infinite data storage. Over the last two decades, this virtual computing technology has taken the world by storm with the proliferation of on-demand cloud infrastructure services, such as AWS (Amazon Web Service) and Microsoft Azure. According to a market forecast by Gartner, the aggregated end-user spending on public cloud services would hit $482.2 billion by 2022—up by nearly 22% from $396 billion this year.
The rise in remote workforce during Covid-19 has become the primary catalyst for this voracious demand as many turn to cloud-based services to run their operations uninterrupted. At least 63% of high-growth companies have relied on a hybrid on-site and remote work arrangement to maintain organizational flexibility and high profitability.
As remote operations steadily gain traction, many companies will shift their focus towards cloud-native applications to circumnavigate logistical and geographical obstacles commonly present in on-premises computing. Multi-cloud architectures have also become highly favorable in corporate data management, with four in five companies claiming to use two or more cloud providers.
With a projected market valuation reaching $639.74 billion by 2022, IoT infrastructure plays a vital role in industrial software development. From smart home appliances working in tandem to create a seamless living experience to an avant-garde data ecosystem for remote-patient monitoring in healthcare, IoT has empowered dozens of industries to collect, deploy, and analyze enormous troves of actionable data from billions of interconnected devices across diverse applications. Not only has this large-scale business automation made it possible for companies to generate new streams of revenue entirely, but it has also created delicate layers of machine interactivity over vast distances in real-time.
Besides its commercial viability, the advent of IoT also denotes the growing complexities of building applications beyond conventional computer hardware. Software developers, thus, must learn how to apply and integrate digital applications into a raft of verticals, from wearable technologies to heavy manufacturing machinery.
- 5G Network
This long-awaited hyper-speed network will become a critical infrastructure in mobile development within the next few years. With blistering data speed, low latency, and enormous network capacity, 5G will kickstart exciting digital experiences and better efficiency across use cases. While the network is still at the early rollout phase with paltry availability to only about 30% of the world’s countries, some remain hopeful that the network connections will reach 3.6 billion by 2025.
Beyond mobile broadband, however, the synergy between 5G and other disruptive trends like edge computing, cloud network, and IoT will enhance faster integration and remove significant latency barriers in future digital innovations.
- Software Integration
In the past, creating a standalone program was sufficient for a business to meet its commercial needs. However, the prolific landscape of modern technology today has pushed the consumer demand for interconnectivity to the forefront. To that end, a custom software application must now support external functionalities to provide a smoother user experience. For instance, to enhance product visibility, Amazon integrates email and social media APIs across their e-Commerce platforms, which enable prospects to recommend their purchase to their social circles.
The competitive edge of software integration isn’t mere conjecture. A recent study has found that 83% of companies deem API integration to be critical in their business strategy—with respondents citing enhanced productivity (59%), better innovation (51%), and revenue increase (43%) as the top benefits.
Seamless navigability isn’t the only factor that underpins this trend. The mounting need for faster time-to-market has also encouraged in-house development teams to build applications with the aid of existing frameworks and codebases—typically through outsourcing.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Although the pop culture depiction might paint us a picture of frigid self-governing machines independent of human supervision, the enterprise-scale AI applications—in reality—still largely revolve around human-centric augmentation and assistive functions.
Nonetheless, this widely misunderstood technology has come a long way from a mere series of iterative logic with limited scope to a collection of interconnected neural networks with self-learning capabilities. With a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 40.2% from 2021 to 2028, AI’s market valuation currently stands at around $93.53 billion. AI-powered technologies have indeed become an inescapable part of our daily routine—from self-driving cars to voice assistant programs in our homes like Alexa and Siri.
- Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
With mobile and web applications gaining eminence over the years, businesses are now vying for brand visibility by offering a streamlined digital experience to online customers. However, due to the disparate nature of web and mobile programming, quickly deploying and maintaining different versions of the same software have become increasingly impractical and costly. Fortunately, PWAs are introduced to address this predicament.
While PWAs are highly favorable among cash-strapped startups thanks to their versatility, numerous named brands such as Twitter, Walmart, Starbucks, and Instagram are also using them. Unsurprisingly, the global market for PWAs has been predicted to increase at a CAGR of 31.9%—climbing up to $10.44 billion by 2027.
- Low-code & No-code Development
Contrary to their names, low-code and no-code environments have built-in codes specifically programmed to decipher software designs into a working application. This type of development enables non-technical workers to create software solutions independently—leaving a traditional team of developers with more time to focus on critical development tasks.
Both development options have steadily gained momentum in recent years as the soaring demand for commercial software has become radically irreconcilable with the talent shortage in tech. Due to rapid digitalization, the global market will need 500 million apps built within half a decade. Another study has estimated, however, that 65% of future apps will be made with low-code tools by 2024.
Most low-code and no-code development platforms are highly accessible and relatively easy to use. The graphic design platform Canva with its drag-and-drop functionalities, for example, is one of many sites offering no-code development services. Alternatively, low-code development service providers include website hosting platforms WordPress and Squarespace.
IoT will certainly see a breakneck adoption rate across industries—from wearables to medicine—thanks to the convergence of AI and cloud technology in many smart devices. Similarly, software integration and PWAs will continue making great strides next year as more platforms are working towards interconnectivity for heightened user experience. Meanwhile, low-code and no-code development platforms will remain as viable alternatives to traditional programming—empowering businesses and individuals with limited options and resources to unlock their digital potential amidst the expansive growth of software needs.
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