We’re already two months into 2021, which is an excellent time to discuss IT’s popular trends. As an experienced software development company, we can’t but take note of the factors that can affect our business. Here’s our list of things that will dominate the software development world in 2021 and beyond:
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Imarc says that AI (Artificial Intelligence) has created US$ 40.21 Billion of business value in 2020. The market is projected to accelerate its growth in the next five years. One of the 2021 software development trends will be integrating AI tools, services, and algorithms, including NLP, AR/VR, ML, and deep learning.
One of the critical drivers for the global AI and Machine Learning market is the increasing digitization in various industries. Extensive adoption of AI-powered software is also associated with the growing need to analyze large amounts of data and extract insights. One of the primary goals of AI is to empower consumer experience and improve organizations’ operational efficiency.
However, the increasing adoption of intelligent applications has triggered some downside AI trends. For example, the Wunderman Thompson report mentions deepfakery as the primary cause of concern. Given the vast flow of misinformation associated with the US presidential campaign and the Covid-19 outbreak, the demand for a relevant antidote will grow in 2021.
AI-powered tools are likely to become capable of fighting back deepfakery. One of the early adopters of the technology is the Microsoft Video Authenticator tool. Envisioned as the technology that scans the piece of content to identify if it is deepfake or not, it can become an effective weapon against confusing images and videos.
Big Data Analytics
It seems like 2021 will be another crucial milestone for increasing Big Data penetration. And it is no wonder that everyone wants to know the latest IT trends that are going to shape the industry in the coming years. Big Data remains essential to global business because it leads to more accurate analytical information. In turn, it enables better decision-making, improves operational efficiency, and reduces ongoing costs.
A recent survey of 500 data professionals in the US showed the change of attitudes towards data analytics after the global outbreak. According to figures cited by Sisence, half of the respondents rely on data analytics more than before the pandemic. In particular, it is especially notable among small businesses willing to embrace opportunities awaiting there.
The shift to remote work and entertainment, together with a sharp rise in streaming games, videos, and other content, fuels digital information volume. To process and analyze it without scaling down, it is necessary to bring down the costs and combat performance issues.
That is where a cutting-edge Big Data and Analytics toolset can step into the rescue. A significant part of this job is forecast to be done by technologies that utilize in-memory processing capabilities. Today, Apache Spark has taken over Hadoop Distributed File System and is likely to dominate other data computation tools.
A growing amount of cybersecurity issues largely influences current trends in software development. Cyber Security Market size is forecast to grow by USD 138.32 billion during 2020-2024, according to the data collected by Technavio. Several factors come into play in this regard. First, the number of mobile and IoT devices is increasing, together with a reliance on secure Internet connectivity.
Second, the number of cybersecurity incidents is growing year by year. Predictably, one of the biggest causes for the increased number of attacks is the shift of vulnerable data to home computers and personal smartphones.
Companies are still navigating through the best ways to protect their internal data and minimize security risks. Another challenge is the demand for enterprise and workforce mobility. Working from home, employees can’t always count on corporate protection and quick help from IT departments. Therefore, it is essential to know how to prevent cyber threats of that kind.
Outside corporate buildings, awareness of cybersecurity issues is coming into the homes of ordinary consumers. Previously mentioned Wunderman Thompson Data indicates that privacy breaches are impacting people’s emotional wellbeing. In particular, the majority of Americans feel disoriented when confronted with a data security issue. With many eyes set on removing pressure from consumers, we are likely to see the rise of privacy-first digital products.
Another finding of the report shows a growing concern of parents to protect the youngest generation. In response to digital identity threats, brands and tech giants embrace ways to develop and continually deploy privacy-first services. It is one of the future IT trends that we are likely to observe in the forthcoming years.
Cloud-Centric Software Development
The global Cloud Computing market size is predicted to be worth USD 832.1 billion by 2025, growing from USD 371.4 billion in 2020, according to MarketsandMarkets' recent report:
Expectations of positive outcomes of Cloud software development investments remain relatively high no matter which industry you are in. Organizations rely on public and private cloud services with their pay-as-you-go model as a way to reduce costs. When digital assets move off-site, it is possible to avoid downtime and staff expenses, among other things.
With most employees relocating to remote premises, cloud environments have become an even more critical tool for developers. They facilitate and simplify remote collaboration and allow engineers to access development sessions directly from the browser.
The popularity of cloud-based tools is growing from year to year among developers. Stack Overflow’s research has shown that AWS has become the most wanted one among developers, significantly bypassing Google Cloud and Azure. The popularity of accompanying container technologies like Docker and Kubernetes is growing every year, too.
Continuous Integration (CI)
According to the data obtained by Data Bridge Market Research, the CI tools market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 16.3% from 2020 to 2027. One of the latest software development trends is the growing need for automated testing and frequent deployments in a digital-first world. The broad adoption of cloud-based services is fueling the market as well.
CI tools make it possible to release software applications and improve software developer productivity quickly. This way, developers can collaborate in a shared codebase and fix bugs in near real-time. As a result, companies can deploy high-quality products faster than their competitors in the forthcoming years.
Cross-Platform Mobile Development (React Native, Flutter)
UI consistency and seamless performance are coming to the fore among brands willing to give mobile users what they crave for. In this respect, robust, fast, and efficient native apps provide the highest flexibility with the best performance and user experience. However, they require a lengthy and costly development process as companies need to hire two separate development teams.
Conversely, the arrival of cross-platform development tools like React Native and Flutter have contributed to keeping the development costs low. They also ensure fast-paced development with reusable code and compatibility with more than one operating system. These are universal apps that operate on almost all platforms and operating systems. However, as they run on most devices, issues with performance and usability may arise and hamper the user experience.
Still, the list of software development trends is incomplete without native app development. It is likely to remain the choice of large enterprises that are not limited by a strict budget. On the other hand, cross-platform development is forecast to stay best-suited for small companies and startups since it is a cost-effective way to build an app.
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
The arrival of PWA has given a competitive edge to numerous mainstream services. With Instagram, Uber, Twitter, and many other big names using the technology, the concept remains relevant because of its capability to perform a high-quality user experience. Many companies continue to invest in it as it offers robust app-like functionality without having to download a piece of software on the device.
PWA is one of the top web development trends that will dominate in 2021 and in the years to come. This is due to the growing number of mobile users and the excellent conversion rates that PWA has to offer.
As the demand for scaling out digital operations is growing, low code/no-code is likely to become one of the top trends in software development. The technologies expand for a good reason as they enable solutions without manual coding. With a user-friendly interface and drag and drop features, low-code/no-code solutions offer the development process’s simplicity.
These platforms give non-programmers and junior developers the power to develop business applications faster than using traditional approaches. The system can generate parts of the code, thus reducing errors and accelerating the process. Also, it promotes Agile development, offering a high level of flexibility.
Tech Stack: Languages, Frameworks, and Databases
Let's use the annual survey from Stack Overflow and look at the popularity of languages, frameworks, and databases in the previous year. That can give an idea of what’s likely to evolve as new trends in software development in 2021. In general, CIOs tend to closely monitor developers’ preferences as it can indicate new investment areas+.
When considering the popular web development frameworks of 2020, the leading positions belong to front-end libraries and frameworks. jQuery, React.js, Angular, and technologies of the .NET platform - ASP.NET and ASP.NET Core, are catching up. Other winners have been Express library and Spring and Django frameworks.
Among various technologies, Node.js tops the chart, followed by .NET and .NET Core frameworks. Next come the Python libraries: Pandas and TensorFlow. These machine-learning technologies stand proudly among the latest software development trends in 2021. Behind the tools stand React Native and the Unity 3D engine used for game development on various devices and platforms.
The obtained information already gives a good idea of what is happening in the IT services market. It also allows us to make sure predictions regarding the demand for IT technologies in 2021.
These are our top predictions of software development technology trends that will dominate the market in 2021.
To keep up with significant market players, IT companies need to master the latest technologies, including ML, Big Data Analytics, PWA, no-code/low-code platforms, and top programming languages. It is also hard to ignore the trend towards automation of processes using Continuous Integration and Artificial Intelligence.
With most employees continuing working from home, the amount of cybersecurity threats is hardly going to drop. Keeping a close eye on the security of both corporate data of ordinary users’ credentials will remain crucial as well.
If you want to use these development trends to your advantage, contact Geomotiv’s expert team. We have unique skills in custom web and mobile solutions, Big data processing, AI and Machine learning, and various other disruptive technologies. Our bespoke engineering services help businesses stay on top of competition and delight users with top-tier digital solutions.
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