How the software world is changing rapidly

Digital is everywhere and every business today is a digital business. As digital transformation initiatives gather pace, most businesses are struggling to keep pace with the growing demand for digital products and services. Additionally, as the complexity of software development continues to grow and technology stacks constantly change, the traditional approach to software development must change. According to a recent report by Nasscom-Zinnov, India is expected to face a shortage of 1.4 to 1.9 million tech professionals by 2026. There is a need to find a faster and more efficient way to developing software to fill this crippling talent shortage.

This new reality requires software engineering leaders to revisit their assumptions and develop plans to modernize their teams, practices, and tools to address the fundamental pillars of their software engineering practices. Businesses need to do three things. First, they should aim to reduce technical complexity — that is, the amount of complex code that must be written for standard tasks — so that software development teams can innovate quickly. Second, they need to focus heavily on automating development workflows to eliminate friction and handoffs between all platforms and tools in different stages of the development lifecycle. Third, from a deployment and operations perspective, companies should test everything they can before focusing on user adoption to improve service reliability and performance.

Based on these fundamental pillars, we predict that the following major software development trends will be essential in the years to come. We recommend that software engineering leaders consider these trends to modernize their development teams, practices, and tools to achieve their business goals:

Legacy transformation of monolithic apps: As digital transformation initiatives accelerate at a rapid pace, traditional monolithic application architectures are collapsing. Recognizing that monolithic applications are becoming unmanageable to maintain economically in the digital age, more and more companies are embracing modern software principles by decoupling software architecture. Some of the best-known digital companies have attempted to transition their monolithic architecture to a microservices-based design. As applications are broken down or decomposed into smaller services, this allows businesses to be more adaptable and prepared for automation.

Multi-cloud application deployment and on-premises backend integrations: As more companies use multiple cloud service providers, it is imperative that software developers create cloud-agnostic applications. Today, and increasingly in the future, it will become imperative for application software developers to build applications that are compatible with private cloud, public cloud, and on-premises ecosystems. This approach not only prevents vendor lock-in, but also gives businesses the flexibility to choose and switch between cloud service providers based on factors such as cost, performance, or compliance.

DevSecOps: Cyberattacks in India have doubled in the past three years, with businesses being the most common target, according to a University of Surrey study. Thus, security is the primary concern of IT managers and software engineering teams. Additionally, companies struggle to meet regulatory requirements due to other factors such as the lack of clear boundaries for organizational data and the risks amplified with collaborative citizen developments. This has led to increased demand for DevSecOps, where security and compliance requirements are validated at every stage of the development lifecycle. As a result, we find that CISOs and CIOs increasingly prefer to build new web and mobile applications on platforms that handle all stages of application development and delivery.

The ultimate goal of development platforms is to simplify the creation of secure code for development teams, assuming a Zero Trust security model, instead of relying primarily on security testing methodologies.

Hybrid integrations: Over the years, the shadow of ‘Shadow IT’ has grown. According to the State of SaaS Sprawl 2021 report, 56% of SaaS applications are shadow IT, or owned and managed outside of IT. These applications need to integrate with all the existing software packages and systems of record they already have to run their core business. To help achieve smooth integration, agile companies use rapid application changes with low-code application development platforms. We are now at a stage where organizations need more to connect their data management, governance and auditability across multiple data sources, in real time. This requires more tools in hybrid integrations. The right low-code application development platforms or dedicated tools will enable data integrations from different SaaS and legacy systems, which is essential to help business leaders make data-driven decisions .

Enterprise Low-Code for pros: A strong trend over the years has been the widespread adoption of low-code platforms, where a leading vendor is already dealing with challenging enterprise use cases. Low-code does not mean that developers will be replaced by professional users. Low-code platforms provide an abstraction to remove much of the complexity that developers typically face when building an application or system to free them up for creativity and innovation. And the best ones offer full control so software engineers have precise control. Repetitive tasks like dependency management, code validation, and automatic builds can be done by the platform so developers can focus on the extra effort that makes a difference. India’s adoption of low-code/no-code (LC/NC) platforms is accelerating. In 2021, local IT service providers and startups generated more than $400 million in revenue from low-code/no-code software solutions, according to a Nasscom report. This market can reach 4 billion US dollars by 2025 under the right conditions. More importantly, more than 30% of this revenue is generated locally, signaling a growing demand for low-code/no-code solutions.

Cloud-native platforms: The rapid explosion of niche cloud applications is changing the “build versus buy” debate. SaaS sprawl not only drains initial budgets, but also becomes another form of technical debt. This results in a bad experience with huge business impact. Indian companies have been grappling with this exact problem. The shift to 5G has highlighted the challenges of moving millions of dollars worth of infrastructure, software, and regulations to a public cloud setup. To ensure business agility in the enterprise systems used by customers, partners and employees, there is a need for a new type of cloud-native application development that is highly distributed, scalable and enables the creation resilient and responsive applications. business apps. To overcome these challenges, it is essential that cloud-native application development platforms allow development teams to stay focused on managing the value stream of their digital products, instead of exhausting their engineer on infrastructure management alone. Organizations need to find technology that allows them to abstract or remove technical complexity and allow their development teams to focus on business results and innovation.

DesignOps: DesignOps is a tight team sport with close collaboration between design teams and front-end developers. It promotes collaboration between different product teams within an organization and ensures a consistent customer experience from the first delivery. Today, the employee and partner experience has become just as essential as the customer experience. As pressure to launch more digital products while meeting user adoption goals increases, organizations must manage design at scale, while minimizing technical and UX debt and putting DesignOps practices center stage .

Observability: Going hand-in-hand with DesignOps, engineering leaders should invest in observability. When DesignOps is combined with new observability of end-user behavior and supported on open standards such as open telemetry for tracing with plans to expand their use for logs and metrics, more digital product teams will target levels of user adoption that have historically been difficult to achieve.

PWA-First: Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) will gain momentum in the coming years thanks to their resilient design when it comes to connectivity. There were already big technical arguments for adopting a PWA-centric mindset by developers and software leaders, but the big push for digital experiences is accelerating the adoption of PWAs. There are many reasons for this momentum: from an end-user perspective, PWAs are easy to use on mobile devices without the need for an app store, and are lightweight. From a development perspective, PWAs are much faster to modify than native apps, and they are easier to maintain. For development teams, unlike native apps, they use a single code base for all devices, they are searchable by search engines, and they are lightweight.

Taken together, these trends represent a shift in software development and a reminder of how rapidly the digital space is accelerating. Companies looking to stay ahead must continually adapt their teams and modernize in line with trends or risk being left behind.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.


Margie D. Carlisle