CEO and Founder of Qulix Systems, a software development company rendering its services globally for over 20 years.
As a very unique year slowly comes to an end, experts are here again to predict the most promising trends in the app development industry. In this article, we will discuss the cutting-edge software technologies, programming languages and other areas that I believe are going to gain more power in the software industry battle next year.
1. Native App Development
It’s no surprise that this approach will gain momentum, especially in the banking/fintech industry, multimedia products and other areas with increased demand for flawless performance on mobile devices, reliability, quality and security. Native development provides enhanced user experience and outstanding performance when these parameters are a priority.
2. The Internet Of Things
The rise of IoT is not going to stop in 2021. Smart home systems, Bluetooth trackers, car gadgets, point-of-sales beacons, IoT devices for manufacturers and plants, smart wearables for healthcare and fitness. This is just a handful of possible use cases for internet-of-things technologies. IoT should be mixed with AI and big data for maximum productiveness, but it remains highly trendy. According to a 2018 Bain and Co. report, “We expect the markets for IoT hardware, software, systems integration, and data and telecom services to grow to $520 billion in 2021, more than double the $235 billion spent in 2017.”
There definitely will be more implementation opportunities that will help people improve their quality of life. More affordable and effective IoT devices will change most industries. As for IoT software development, I think IoT engineers from all over the world should improve their programming skills to write code for energy-efficient connected devices.
3. Human Augmentation
Human augmentation is a set of technologies that is used to enhance, replace or complement the natural abilities of people. Human 2.0 technologies exist in the form of implants built into the body, such as devices to restore sight or hearing, or external devices and tools, such as exoskeletons to improve natural capabilities. New technologies and use cases are on their way to significantly improving human lives, and the technology we’ve seen from things like Google Glass is just the beginning.
4. Big Data
Big data computation is still among the top trends and investment opportunities. In 2021, a significant part of the job is going to be carried out by the tools that process everything in memory right away instead of storing data after each calculation. Batch processing frameworks are going to be in demand, especially when it comes to social media data, documents and text analysis, and clickstream media. I believe big data will be used to facilitate climatic change research and search for new medical cures, and it will be used for a more natural language processing and easier data governance. However, cybersecurity in this area will remain a challenge.
5. Artificial Intelligence Expansion
Despite being a buzzword, used both correctly and incorrectly, AI is still a top technology and will become more powerful, affordable and widespread. Deep learning, machine learning, speech processing and more are going to be used more in ecommerce, healthcare, education and entertainment apps. AI is what helps businesses and organizations provide more personalized experiences for customers, and this trend will continue in a more cost-effective manner next year.
6. Continuous Integration And Deployment
This practice is aimed to cut down the cycle of feature delivery, make bug fixing more frequent and effective, and allow more flexibility and experiments in software development. Continuous delivery means apps get into production for thorough testing, while continuous deployment updates them automatically. As the code is added to a shared repository, it is tested so the delivery is accelerated. It enables software development teams to continuously improve functionality and deliver products faster. No wonder more software development companies will implement this approach in their work.
7. Progressive Web Apps
When comparing websites to web apps, the former ones are easier to access, while the latter can provide broader functionality and top performance due to embracing platform-specific hardware support. Still in their infancy, progressive web apps have become a valuable compromise between easy access and five-star performance. Users get a full-fledged and full-screen experience with less data usage and shorter loading time. They transfer the app-like features into the browser window, thus marking a revolution of web development. A lot of world-renowned platforms — including Forbes, AliExpress, Pinterest and Twitter — already make use of PWA adoption. To my mind, they are going to dominate the market of web products in 2021.
8. Low-Code Development
Previously, it took large, dedicated teams of software engineers and architects to create any type of digital solution. It used to be very expensive and barely available to medium-sized businesses. However, the low-code development trend is here to simplify complex programming languages and provide access to a coding miracle to more specialists. Low-code platforms have the necessary potential to revolutionize the software market, avoid a lot of manual work, and provide simple interfaces to help people build new apps at a low investment of money, time, and specific skills.
9. Cross-Platform And Hybrid Development
For some industries or application types, cross-platform development becomes a major time-saver and facilitator. So we cannot say that only the development will be mostly native in 2021. The common back-end code base for mobile platforms can be a compromise between functionality and time to market. Back-end code shareability with the native rendering engine (as in the case of cross-platform development) will achieve impressive results at a reasonable investment in the coming year.
I believe new programming languages will appear at the forefront of software engineering next year. You can also expect to see new technologies appear and some of the 2020 buzzwords vanish. Software development is a highly competitive industry that impacts every sector — it will only continue to grow and become more diversified.
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