Making business in a highly turbulent market is always risky and challenging but it discovers promising prospects at the same time. Staying tuned about latest trends before they become a buzzword allows companies make the best use out of the innovations and be ahead of their competitors. We suggest being predictive and get to know about future tendencies in advance.
Inspired by Gartner’s research on top strategic technology trends, SaM Solutions has compiled the list of software development trends that will determine how IT and related domains will look like in 2017. So, below are five cutting-edge technologies that we consider to be most promising and included on our list of software development trends 2017.
Internet of Things (IoT)
In a world where even light switches, wristwatches and microwave ovens have become smart and got access to the internet, IoT heads the list of current trends in software development. Indeed, multiple domains have gone smart: manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, banking and finance, agriculture, hospitality and others. Even homes and cities have provided themselves with the intelligence: Apple HomeKit and Mark Zuckerberg’s home virtual assistant Jarvis are the cases in point.
As the variety of Internet-connected things grows, so proportionally increases the need for the creation of specific software that will help process the data that these sources generate. The development of appropriate hardware and embedded software is also a priority.
Statistics just proves that IoT vectors information technologies. In accordance with forecasts, the spending on related services will account for $481.8 billion by 2020, which is almost 13% of total IT worldwide spending. It is hardly a surprise as the number of internet-connected devices is ratcheting up. It is expected to outreach 30 billion by 2020, say nothing of 75 billion by 2025, compared to just 15 billion appliances two years ago.
Why smart devices have come into common use and gained their foothold in both household and nondomestic application? The reason is that IoT allows companies to benefit from the improvement of operation effectiveness, error mitigation, increased financial performance and enhanced data analytics.
At the same time, IoT is fraught with certain challenges, such as security issues and the storage of huge amounts of data, which still deters many companies from the application of internet-connected devices.
Machines have been going out of total human control and administration since they have gained the ability to analyze data using pre-set algorithms. Self-learning machines have computers embedded into their bodies that allow them to find required information without additional programming. Recently, self-learning machines have acquired a new skill: they can make sophisticated calculations with big data easily and fast. This necessitates the development of special software.
The most promising example of machine learning is self-driving cars that IBM predicts to appear on roads by 2025. These hyped-up cars powered by Google do not require a driver to rule them as the ability to learn by precedents allows them to do it on their own. There is a variety of alike examples by now, such as:
- Netflix’s and Amazon’s machine learning algorithms that make recommendations to their users that are based on their activity and interest area
- PayPal uses machine learning for fraud detection as it allows comparing multiple transactions and identifying fraudulent ones
- A medical company Medecision have developed an algorithm that predicts the cases of aggravation of people with diabetes
For now, machine learning is closely related to IoT as the latter is a target industry number one for its applications (11.4%). Also, it focuses on non-computer related scientific, professional and technical services and manufacturing, telecommunications, utilities and robotics. Following technology advancement, the algorithms become smarter and now their capability to perform complex functions is on the rise. This all could not have been possible without recent advances in the artificial intelligence arena.
Automation, which is the next frontier for IT in Gartner’s view and another leader in our list of latest software development trends, is not the same as intelligence. Indeed, it looks similar but it does not use previous experiences in its operation. The essence of automation is to create specific cases for recurrent sets of processes, which allows running algorithms by machines instead of doing them manually.
IT process automation allows increasing ROI, saving time and human efforts on procedure implementation, improving efficiency and reducing risks. That is why there is an ever-growing demand for software that enables process automation, as it allows standardizing the IT landscape and working environment.
You can automate the following operations:
- Alerting on a variety of issues, such as the registration of new customers, employees’ comments on social media and to blog posts and more
- “Thank you”, greeting mailing and emails containing additional information that customers may require
- Feedback transfer to the customer support department
- The creation of new customers
- The synchronization of profiles across different accounts
- Content sharing
- Spam filtering
- And more
However, only systematic automation, not an occasional one, is the key to steady performance improvement.
The pace of life increases steadily, which influences the software development as well. Markets transform more quickly, so, customers demand their outsourcing teams to create applications within timeframes that are shorter than they used to be some years ago. Agile methodology can help software developers work faster and still maintain a high quality of teams’ solutions and services. That is why many companies apply Scrum, Extreme Programming, FDD, DSDM and other iteration-based approaches as they provide the following advantages:
- Immediate code defect elimination. Having most recent results every iteration allows to fix possible bugs immediately, not after the whole project is finished, which shortens project duration
- Guidance by current customer requirements. The team prioritizes customer requirements, not instructions and documentation, so they can change the product as soon as possible to avoid project procrastination. Also, this accelerates the project kickoff
- The overall view of the solution. The team have a comprehensive overview of the solution throughout the project, which enables timely adjustments and corrections
However, people who are a far cry from this methodology may think that it is chaotic and lacks proper administration. Indeed, its incorrect use may cause certain pitfalls but proper application just proves that Agile has been developed to facilitate the development process, not to complicate it. An increasing number of companies, including Amazon, Microsoft and others, have arrived to understand its benefits, which resulted in the growth of the Agile application lifecycle management tools market. It has almost tripled for the past 3 years: from $291 million in 2013 to $800 million in 2016.
In the era of globalization and mobilization, it is no wonder that the software development teams have grown geographically distributed. Indeed, existing version control systems facilitate smooth and efficient remote working thereby allowing teams to be more flexible and location-free. There are four reasons why this organizational structure that seemingly lacks discipline can help a company improve project efficiency and increase revenue:
- Team members bear their personal responsibility for the performance results
- Peer-based rational control factors into improved employees’ motivation
- Balanced manager-to-employee performance review ensures equal responsibility for the performance results
At the same time, team decentralization may cause certain security issues, if not managed correctly. IT experts recommend opting for data segregation on user devices into personal and business alongside the introduction of strong user policy.
Stay Tuned for Steady Business Development
Being posted about coming trends in software development is a prerequisite not only from the perspective of the information technology but also from the business one. A trouble-proof software that meets the latest technological trends provides overall control of a company’s business. Also, it helps reduce costs, increase revenue and save human efforts and time that the teams spend on certain operations. That is why more and more companies assign a high priority to the effectiveness of their IT sector.
SaM Solutions recommends software development companies being proactive, rather than reactive. Be ahead of the trends to get ready for them, align your IT landscape with the market requirements in a timeous manner and be a pioneer in adopting new software development technologies into your business.