If there’s one thing for certain about the tech industry, it’s that it never stops expanding. As technology advances, software development trends continue to push the limits of what is possible. At times it feels like the exponential growth couldn’t possibly keep going – but without fail, the advancements in software development never slow down.
In other words, things are moving fast, and if you want to make sure your business has a competitive edge, it’s important to know the upcoming software development trends in 2021.
Read on for the top software development trends tech experts are seeing this year and see how they are transforming the industry.
The Cloud Is a Better Data Solution
The way we work and do business changed drastically in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With more companies sending employees home to work remotely, old ways of storing and sharing data were forced to change. As a result, more businesses shifted their data systems to the cloud.
Compared to traditional IT services, cloud computing makes it easy to share, store, and analyze important information over the internet – especially when employees work from home and can’t access their work computers via a physical server.
The cloud is a cost-effective and high-performing solution for managing data and as more businesses and users turn to it, the advancement of cloud technologies will continue to grow.
Emphasis on Cyber Security
As more of our work and recreational activities move online, concerns over cybersecurity continue to grow.
Businesses that opted to shift their data storage to the cloud now face the risk of exposing important information to potential hackers. As a result, cloud service providers who don’t take a proactive approach to cybersecurity may end up losing customers if they are unlucky enough to experience a cloud data breach.
To that end, new, innovative cybersecurity solutions will be not only necessary for peace of mind, but a big development opportunity that can give businesses an edge in 2021.
Expansion of IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the fastest growing software development trends, particularly in the past year. For instance, because of COVID-19, more patients are accessing healthcare remotely. This has opened the door to the development of more IoT devices to help monitor and manage health conditions, and transfer the relevant data to healthcare providers. This trend of remote healthcare supplemented by sensors and wearable devices in only expected to continue.
Besides health-tech, IoT technology has made its way into smart city solutions. Devices like meters, lights, and connected sensors now allow cities to collect and analyze data to improve infrastructure, public utilities, and other city services.
Additionally, the development of IoT devices for cars, home security, and mobile devices is giving businesses access to invaluable data with the power to drive technological advancements in all of these sectors.
Over the past five years alone, we’ve seen advances in artificial intelligence (AI) development that rivals what we’ve seen in Sci-Fi movies. Subsets of AI like machine learning, machine control, deep learning, and the neural network continue to advance at lightning speed, blowing our expectations of AI out of the water year after year.
As a result of the success of AI technology, it is only expected to continue to grow. Market research firm Tractica forecasts the AI market to grow from $10.1 billion in 2018 to $126.0 billion by 2025.
Virtual assistance technologies like Siri, Alexa and Google Home are just one example of how AI has become a part of our everyday lives. We will see more forms of AI assistance – like customer service chatbots – integrated into websites and apps.
Additionally, AI technology expands into sectors like healthcare, transportation, education, and finance, offering augmented analytics, automated testing, automated code generation, and automated solution development.
A newer approach to software development is the low-code route. Instead of coding line for line to create an app, low-code programs give users the freedom to visually sketch their application in a flowchart, removing some of the tenuous work usually left to software experts.
While low-code software development may be growing in popularity, it does not always stand up to task with more complex software solutions. However, for businesses looking to quickly create a simple application, low-code may be the way to go!
Blockchain Usage Increases
It’s unlikely that anyone has made it to 2021 without hearing about Bitcoin, and a huge part of what makes Bitcoin so exciting and successful is the blockchain technology it uses. Blockchain is a decentralized, digital ledger system for recording and transferring digital assets that is incredibly difficult to change, cheat, or hack.
Being that the security of data is of the utmost importance to users and businesses, it makes sense that the development of blockchain technology is on the rise. In addition to Bitcoin, blockchain technology can now be found in the finance, banking, media, publishing, and healthcare software development sectors.
Another software development trend that came straight out of science fiction is the continued advancement of human augmentation technologies. The tech industry has been hard at work exploring wearable devices which improve physical and cognitive capabilities.
Eventually, we may see a future where we have implanted memory chips and overboards. For now, we have exoskeletons that help with heavy lifting and repetitive movements are helping remove some of the physical burden from laborers. Additionally, wearable devices like eSight help those with low vision better see the world around them.
No longer limited to video games, virtual reality technology won’t be going away anytime soon. While players have had their minds blown by immersive, first-person gaming experiences, other more practical applications for VR are now moving into the limelight.
As we look outside of gaming, the possibilities for VR usage in other sectors like training and education are virtually endless. Specifically, the ability to immerse the wearer in a reality that replicates real-world scenarios means a safe environment for students, trainees, or employees to gain invaluable practice and experience.
Ask anyone who has purchased AR eyeglasses online and they’ll surely attest to the benefit of augmented reality technology. Software developers have advanced this technology immensely in just the last couple of years, from Snapchat and Instagram filters to the ability to see how a color of paint will look on your kitchen cabinets.
The possibilities augmented reality brings to eCommerce alone are worth exploring. The further development of augmented reality technology has huge potential benefits for improving the customer experience of online shopping – from glasses to clothes to home design!
Progressive Web Applications
The advent of progressive web applications (PWAs) offers users a happy medium between conventional websites and download-requiring native apps. Supported by Google, PWA’s give the user access to high-performing, app-like features from a web browser—with or without a network connection.
Businesses who choose to develop and implement PWA software stand to benefit from the increased traffic to their services – after all, it’s much more convenient to use a web browser from any device than to download a native app.
Take Advantage of Software Development Trends
With how fast things change in the software industry, you have to do your best to guess what’s coming next. Even better though, is to jump on those software development trends right away to make sure your next big idea is ahead of the curve!
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