Taking advantage of new technologies is crucial to staying competitive as a business. In today's digital world, this means staying on top of the latest software trends, as they make up much of the most influential modern technologies.
Software development, like most technology sectors, is evolving rapidly. To help keep up with the growing pace of innovation, here are seven key trends that business owners and technology leaders should know about.
1. Programming with the help of artificial intelligence
Generative AI — made famous by tools like ChatGPT — was undoubtedly the breakout technology of the past year. It will also be one of the most important events in the coming years.
While the natural language and image production capabilities of generative AI often take the spotlight, its programming ability is more practical in software development. As these tools improve, more developers will likely use them to automate repetitive programming tasks such as writing basic scripts or checking code.
AI-powered programming can save hours of developer schedules and reduce errors for more polished final products. As technology talent gaps become more severe, companies cannot afford to ignore this potential. Technology teams must think about how to integrate generative AI into their workflow and, more importantly, learn how to validate its results to use it effectively and ethically.
2. Increasing concerns related to cybersecurity
The growing need to improve cybersecurity is an old but still relevant software trend. Although companies are becoming more aware of cybersecurity concerns, cybercrime has not disappeared, so improving protection is essential.
Development teams should embrace security early in the design phase rather than implementing it as an afterthought. Cybercriminals are also beginning to take advantage of AI, so companies must respond with AI-guided protections and testing against these more sophisticated attacks.
Emphasis is also placed on security throughout the software supply chain. With third-party breaches on the rise and merger activity tripling in some industries, addressing partner vulnerabilities is more important than ever. Companies must conduct thorough due diligence and limit access privileges for third parties across the software supply chain.
3. Low-code and no-code development
Today, almost every company is a technology company to some degree. This shift has led to a significant increase in demand for technology talent across all sectors, leaving many organizations suffering from a shortage of IT workers. In response, the industry is leaning toward low-code and no-code development processes.
Plug-and-play development interfaces – especially for websites and mobile applications – are becoming increasingly popular. Taking advantage of these tools is essential to staying productive despite the competitive business environment in the programming field.
Companies with a lot of programming talent have a unique opportunity amid this trend. If these teams can develop low-code and no-code technologies for other organizations, they can greatly benefit from this growing market.
Another major software trend is the shift toward DevSecOps development cycles. This practice builds on an agile and highly collaborative DevOps philosophy by adding security teams into the mix from the early stages.
DevSecOps addresses two important concerns in modern software. First, it enables continuous improvement and greater functionality by focusing on teamwork and continuous reviews to quickly create the best possible product. Second, it ensures security by design by involving cybersecurity experts throughout the entire development process.
Because DevSecOps is so fast and intensive, learning to use it will require modification. Teams should try it now to become confident practicing on future projects. Failure to implement DevSecOps in the coming years will give more agile competitors an advantage.
5. Microservices architecture
In the pursuit of more functional applications, software development is also moving towards microservices architecture. A traditional monolithic architecture combines all features into a single service, but microservices break them down into smaller units that operate independently.
The main advantage of this new method is that you can change a single feature without affecting the entire program. This fragmentation results in fewer errors and faster update timelines. It also improves scalability and flexibility, which is increasingly crucial as software trends change frequently.
As with DevSecOps, the shift to a microservices architecture will entail an initial outage. This method may increase organizational complexity, so development teams must learn how to distribute specialized duties while communicating closely. Off-the-shelf containerization tools can also help.
6. Focus on user experience
As audiences use more digital apps and websites, their expectations for these services are rising. Thus, user experience (UX) has become an increasingly central goal for software development teams.
A custom app or website is no longer enough to stand out as a business. These services must be highly effective and convenient, otherwise they risk alienating users. Increasing loading times from just one second to five seconds increases bounce rates by 90%, so everything needs to be as responsive as possible.
Good user experience starts with optimizing apps and websites to work quickly, even on minimal devices – especially on mobile. Aside from these technical considerations, developers must pay close attention to user trends to know what types of formats and features they prefer. Continuous feedback and adjustments are essential to maintaining optimal user experience amid changing requirements.
7. Sustainable software
Sustainability is a growing trend in many industries, and software is no exception. As the world relies more on software, power consumption in data centers is in the spotlight. Energy-hungry innovations like artificial intelligence and blockchain technology will make achieving the balance between performance and sustainability more difficult but important.
If development teams can create more sustainable digital solutions, they will stand out from the energy-intensive crowd. As this trend increases, those who don't adapt may break up for the wrong reasons.
Sustainable software relies heavily on designing resource-efficient architectures. The less power an application needs to deliver the same performance, the better. It is also important to use data centers powered by renewable energy to support these services.
Take advantage of these software trends to stay ahead
Today's software trends will determine tomorrow's technology. Businesses must stay abreast of these developments to adapt to changing markets. This adaptation will mean some disruption in the near term, but if organizations can address it sooner rather than later, they can get ahead of the curve and ensure long-term success.