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7 Software Development Trends for 2022 and Why You Should Adopt Them

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By now, we’re all too familiar with the saying “every company is a software company” but scaling and delivering quality software is — to put it simply — hard: software development complexity keeps growing, with tech stacks constantly changing and new cloud services popping up. Yet, there simply aren’t enough software engineers available in the market: IDC quantified that the shortage of full-time developers is currently 1.4 million people (2021) and that will rise to 4 million people in just 4 years.

At the same time, the revolution of hybrid work and the pandemic acceleration of digital has exploded the backlogs of software dev teams in every industry. These last two disruptions may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back on the old approach for conventional development.

This new reality demands that software engineering leaders must review their 2022 assumptions and make plans to modernize their teams, practices, and tools to address the 4 core pillars of their software engineering:

  • Developer experience: aiming to reduce technical complexity so that teams can innovate rapidly.
  • Development workflow automation: removing friction and handovers among all platforms and tools from the different stages of the development lifecycle are integrated holistically.
  • Security and compliance: developers shift left everything that can be tested during development, and right everything that’s better tested later, making it easier for developers to write secure code.
  • Deployment and operations: focusing on user adoption to enhance service reliability and performance.

Based on these pillars, we predict 7 software development trends that will be key in 2022 and that software engineering leaders should consider to modernize their dev teams, practices, and tools and achieve their business goals:

  1. DevSecOps
  2. API-led Integrations
  3. Low-code for Pros
  4. Cloud-Native Platforms
  5. DesignOps
  6. Universal Observability
  7. PWA-First

#1: DevSecOps

Security, unfortunately, will continue to be the #1 concern for IT executives and software engineering teams. Between an uptick in ransomware attacks, lack of clear boundaries for organizational data, and increased risk with collaborative citizen developments, the data privacy, and regulatory requirements are threatened more than ever before. This led to an increased demand for DevSecOps, where security and compliance requirements are validated at every step of the development lifecycle.

With this increasing pressure to protect development environments from supply chain security threats and harden software delivery pipelines, we’re seeing CISOs and CIOs gradually preferring to create new web&mobile apps on platforms that manage all stages of app development and delivery for each new app — instead of depending on the non-systematic nature of different people with different practices in secure development.

The ultimate goal is for dev platforms to promote and make it easy for dev teams to create secure code, assuming a Zero Trust security model, instead of relying mostly on security testing methodologies.

#2: Hybrid Integrations

According to The State of SaaS Sprawl in 2021, the average company has 254 SaaS applications but, on average, only 45% of a company’s SaaS apps are being used on a regular basis. Moreover, 56% of all these apps are shadow IT, or owned and managed outside of IT. And the crazy part is to think that goes on top of all the software packages and systems of records they already have to run the core of their business.

The recent furore by business users to deploy RPA over old tools lacking APIs was a shortcut for old systems but not ideal for the fluid nature of digital business making changes all the time. For that agile businesses are using rapid app changes with low-code dev platforms, and the leading ones include these capabilities inside.

Above all, we’re now at a stage where organizations need more than ever to connect in real-time their data management, governance, and auditability across these multiple data sources which begs for more tools in hybrid integrations. The right software dev platforms or dedicated tools allow integrating data from different SaaS and legacy systems for a data fabric used by multiple systems and apps, which is key to supporting business leaders to make data-driven decisions.

#3: Low-Code for Pros

A proven alternative in 2021 has been the broad adoption of low-code platforms, where a leading vendor already addresses challenging enterprise use cases. In fact, according to Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms,

“By 2025, 70% of new applications developed by enterprises will use low-code or no-code technologies”.

Low-code doesn’t mean that developers will be replaced by business users (to understand the difference between low-code and no-code take a look at this blog post). Low-code platforms provide abstraction to remove some of that complexity that developers typically face when creating an app or system. And the best ones provide full-stack control for software engineers to have fine-grain control.

The goal is that those repetitive and boring tasks like dependency management, code validation, and automatic builds are done by the platform so that developers can focus on the extra mile that makes the difference, instead of just keeping the lights on.

#4: Cloud-Native Platforms

Still on the SaaS topic, the explosion of niche cloud applications is changing the “build vs buy” economics and timings. That’s because SaaS sprawl is not only exploding the original budgets but also becoming another form of technical debt: jumping among a dozen systems is a poor experience, with business consequences.

To recover business agility in enterprise systems used by customers, partners and employees, it demands a new type of cloud-native app development — one that is highly distributed, scalable, and enables the creation of resilient, fit-to-purpose enterprise apps that increases the agility of the organization.

The explosive growth of the mega vendors’ web services from ~30 five years ago, up to 250 by a single IaaS provider today, is becoming a massive distraction for business developers creating cloud-native applications.

To overcome these challenges, it is key that cloud-native development platforms allow dev teams to remain focused on the value stream management for their digital products, instead of exhausting their engineering talent on infrastructure management alone.

And with tech giants winning the race for scarce specialized engineers, organizations outside that tech elite need to embrace new ways to stay innovative and competitive with their own teams. This means finding technology that allows them to abstract or remove technical complexity and allow their development teams to focus on business outcomes and innovation — like a new crop of Cloud Native Low-Code Platforms.

#5: DesignOps

DesignOps is a tight team sport with close collaboration between design teams and front-end developers (including shared repositories, tools, asset exchange) promoting collaboration across the different product teams within an organization, and ensuring consistency of the product’s experience from the first delivery.

Now, the year 2022 is the first time when IT and app development budgets already reflect the hybrid work reality since both employee and partner experience has become just as critical as the customer experience — for hyperadoption: the broad and frequent use of the applications created to gain business agility.

As organizations are pressured to launch more digital products while meeting user adoption goals, they need to manage design at scale, while minimizing technical and UX debt, bringing DesignOps practices to the center of the stage.

#6: Observability

Going hand-in-hand with DesignOps, engineering leaders should invest in observability for hyperadoption. Combined with new end-user behavior observability and supported on open standards like Open Telemetry for tracing with plans to expand their use for logs and metrics, more digital product teams will aim for user adoption levels that were historically hard to achieve.

#7: PWA-First

Progressive Web AppsPWAs combine the functions of native apps and website accessibility without involving the app stores. Like native apps, PWAs can work offline, send push notifications, and access device hardware, such as cameras or GPS. The user experiences are similar to native apps on mobile and desktop devices without downloading or updating hassles, with great benefit — they run well on top of poor connectivity.

PWAs will regain momentum in 2022 due to their connectivity resilient design and user resistance (to keep piling native apps in their devices). There were already great technical arguments to adopt a PWA-first mindset by developers and software leaders, but the great acceleration to digital experiences is accelerating this change too, because:

  1. From an end user perspective, PWA are easy to use their mobile devices (no app store) and are lightweight.
  2. From a dev perspective, PWAs are way faster to change than native apps, and they are easier to maintain.
  3. For dev teams, unlike native apps, they use one codebase for all devices, they’re searchable by search engines, and they are light.

Get Ready for 2022

So overall, the top software engineering trends we see for 2022 confirm the core of our mission as a company:

“To enable every business to innovate throught software”.

We believe we can’t go wrong in delivering to our customers a platform that keeps removing complexity, addressing the developer experience gap, abstracting the complexity of cloud native development, and, ultimately, enabling our customers to grow faster.

We wish you a successful 2022!

1Breaking out the top of the analysts scale, as you can find out in the first ever “Low-Code Wave” by Forrester in 2016.

2022 is Coming: 8 Mobile App Development Trends to Look For

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This blog post will examine the 2022 forecast for mobile application development, including the trends and opportunities mobile software developers and engineers need to know.

The global mobile application market is hot, and it’s on track to sizzle for years to come. According to Statista, global revenue from mobile apps is expected to reach $613 billion by 2025, up from $318 billion in 2020. With this growth comes plenty of opportunities for mobile software developers and engineers to supercharge their apps and deliver a best-in-class experience for their users.

As the end of 2021 draws near, it’s time to look forward and plan for the year ahead. This blog post will examine the 2022 forecast for mobile application development, including the trends and opportunities mobile software developers and engineers need to know.

Why is it important to look into the future?

Software development teams play a key role in driving revenue for their companies. Apps that meet a unique need, are innovative in meeting that need, and provide a high-quality user experience will see the highest levels of user retention. In other words, the more users, the more revenue.

To make sure your app ticks these boxes, you need to understand the latest trends in technology, user behavior, and the market – including how those trends are evolving. The better you can convert these trends into software features and enhancements, the more your app’s user base – and your business – will grow.

2022 mobile app development trends

2022 is the year that previously fringe technologies will become more mainstream—5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) will all see increased adoption to meet the demands of the modern consumer. People’s lives are also becoming increasingly digital, and this extends to how and where they shop, how they get their information, and how they communicate. We break down these trends and more below.

5G

While not yet mainstream, the adoption of 5G is increasing and is on track to become the new standard for mobile technology. According to Statista, the global 5G technology market is forecast to hit $620.72 billion by 2030. With user-friendly benefits like increased performance speed, fast data transfer, and lower latency, the time for your mobile app to support 5G connections is now.

IoT and Cloud

Internet of things (IoT) technology and mobile-connected smart objects have been around for years, but the market is growing and IoT spending is projected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2023, according to Statista. The biggest driver behind cloud and IoT adoption is security, an increasing concern for businesses. With over $120 billion spent on IT security in 2019 worldwide, it’s easy to see why companies are looking for other solutions. IoT and the cloud offer other benefits, including reduced operational costs, improved efficiency, and increased connections to other platforms via APIs.

AI and Machine Learning

In the quest to deliver personalized user experiences for mobile apps, AI that uses predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms will be the key technologies to incorporate. AI is essential for navigation, speech recognition, and natural language processing (NLP). Behavioral algorithms can also enhance security by analyzing user behaviors and detecting fraud, suspicious activities, and potential information breaches.

Mobile Commerce

As more shoppers prefer to buy online, more retailers are building native apps or progressive web apps (PWAs) to provide a better shopping experience. Unlike e-commerce, mobile commerce (or m-commerce) involves online purchases via a mobile app and not a mobile web page. The mobile commerce market is expected to be worth around $22 billion by 2022, likely because many B2B and B2C companies have seen an increase in engagement, conversion rates, and revenue growth after building a PWA for their business.

PWAs and Instant Apps

PWAs are becoming more popular because they fill in the gaps left by most native apps and web pages. Benefits like reduced dependency on internet connections, faster loading times, automatic updates, and faster development times make PWAs a popular choice for both consumers and companies.

Similarly, instant apps are gaining popularity because they allow users to test the app before downloading and installing it. While it might seem that preferring a more lightweight app experience would make users more fickle, it appears the opposite is true: PWAs have a 36% higher conversion rate than native mobile apps, according to the Top 30 Progressive Web Apps report – and they often require different testing requirements.

Wearables

Statista projects there will be 1.1 billion connected wearable devices in 2022, with North America forecast to have around 700 wearables and the most 5G connections made using wearables. Wearables are another way to bring convenience to your users: the ability to receive notifications and messages on their smartwatch was the highest-ranking function of wearables for U.S. users (Statista). Within the wearable market, fitness tracking has seen a positive and upward trend in demand with the rise in health awareness of the general consumer population.

Beacon Technology

Beacons were introduced in 2013, but they are becoming more popular for mobile app development, particularly for retail businesses. For consumers, the benefits include real-time, location-specific deals and alerts and the convenience of mobile payments (an essential element of m-commerce). For businesses, beacons allow them to understand their customers’ shopping preferences and patterns and turn this data into a more personalized shopping experience.

AR/VR

The integration of AR/VR technology in mobile apps is still an emerging trend, but it’s important to watch. The global AR/VR market reached $12 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $160 billion by 2023 (Statista). As AR/VR technologies advance, they will drive a transformation of gaming, entertainment, travel, and live streaming mobile apps in particular. AR/VR technology is another way to interact with customers in a more personalized way: consumers can try on clothes, see how a new sofa would look in their living room, or visualize themselves on the beach vacation of their dreams.

Conclusion

With the COVID-19 further accelerating the trend for consumers to move much of their lives online, there is a new push to deliver more personalized experiences to every consumer. The mobile app development trends for 2022 reflect this digital transformation and focus on user satisfaction. Incorporating applicable trends into your mobile app’s feature roadmap will set you up for success into the new year and beyond.

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In light of the research results, as BAYPM, we would love to help you with your Digital Transformation journey, give us a shout and we’ll be sure to assist you as best as we can. Currently, we are working on a project to digitize manual processes within different locations. The client opted for an incremental implementation approach based on geographical locations and the needs of their different factories.

Build vs. Buy in a Fast-Changing World

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How cost factors into the Build vs Buy debate - Learnosity

Faster than any corporate strategy or executive initiative, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the business’ adoption of digital technologies as never seen before. Forced to adjust rapidly and find new ways to connect with customers, partners, and their whole ecosystem, organizations in all industries implemented new digital experiences and embraced new ideas and business models, accelerating the share of digitally enabled products in their portfolios by seven years.

This need for speed has raised the old but still relevant build vs. buy dilemma. I recently had a revealing conversation with John Bratincevic, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research, about these exact trends (you can warp thru it at Build at the Speed of Buy webinar).

Based on trends we both saw in the past 18 months, we talked about how the “build” approach has been gaining momentum as technology evolves and new modern development approaches appear. So, where do we stand now? When should you buy and when should you build software?
 

Challenges of the Old “Buy + Customize” Approach

The traditional view we’ve always been told is not to reinvent the wheel; always buy software if possible, because there are very smart companies with great solutions that support “exactly what you need”—or so you wish. You should only build when your business lives in a somewhat niche area of the market poorly served by package software.

But the truth is, every resilient business is kind of like a snowflake—there are no two 100% the same, and it keeps changing. When you digitally transform your business, you turn everything about it into software, from policies and processes to procedures, data, and even its know-how.

The problem of prioritizing buying over the building is that whenever you need to change operations, that software that you bought because it was “baked” for that problem doesn’t change easily because it wasn’t architected for change and varnish customization is not enough.

Additionally, in today’s frenzy explosion of SaaS services acquired by each department to serve the majority of your software needs, you end up with several systems that don’t integrate seamlessly with each other. One nasty consequence is recurring to poor man integration with bots in what John describes as a “human API”, where users must manually copy-paste data, navigate between screens, and accruing all sorts of workarounds, like spreadsheets, to compensate for the lack of integration between the multiple solutions, all just to do what it was supposed to do!

In a surviving organization, software should be an extension of the business and express its DNA. To achieve that, companies need bespoke software solutions that may integrate all systems, and that means more development and faster delivery cadence.

Why Is “Building” Gaining Momentum?

Why is “building” the trend these past two years? What has changed in the business landscape for vanilla applications to not be enough? The answer is simple: post-pandemic of doing all customers’ operations digitally, and the quest to provide better experiences, both for customers and employees.

The philosophy of tweaking only the front-end because it’s what impacts customers directly, but keeping the back office systems slow and disconnected doesn’t work anymore. Because those operations greatly affect the customer experiences. Everything is integrated, and if something in the back office doesn’t work well, the app experience breaks fast, and adoption fails.

So, in today’s fast-changing world, even the most internal system has to change eventually to cope with unforeseen circumstances. Just imagine what the next unexpected pandemic may be! When you’re dealing with standard SaaS or COTS systems, even if they’re the best in class, they don’t change easily because they weren’t made with the peculiarities of your businesses in mind.

Redefining Build vs. Buy Assumptions

There are two critical assumptions that organizations need to realize when it comes to choosing between build or buy software approach:

  1. Businesses are like snowflakes, and organizations shouldn’t underestimate the peculiarities of their business. So, unless your off-the-shelf application is built for change—and most of them aren’t—it’ll take more time, be more painful, and be expensive to customize to your business needs.
  2. Technologies keep changing rapidly. Today, the build shouldn’t be seen as a herculean effort, where you need a huge team to write thousands or millions lines of code, as it happened in the past. Cloud platforms have evolved dramatically over the last five years; modern development approaches like DevOps, agile, and enterprise low-code platforms have accelerated the development process, and quality checks are built-in. So, product teams don’t need to dive into the “start from scratch” development to build an application; they can take advantage of cloud services and business APIs to compose and deliver customized solutions much faster, more adaptive, and cheaper than before.

Moreover, there’s a lot of value in creating apps in platforms that allow you to reuse proven modular building blocks that include security, governance, and compliance management in the platform. This way, integrating systems and providing a seamless navigation experience becomes a reality without them needing a “human API” or repetitive RPA bots to fix what the solution was supposed to do from the beginning.

The question shouldn’t be “build versus buy” anymore, but “customize versus compose”. You either buy a standard app and spend most of the time and money customizing it and waiting on budgets and vendors to do it each cycle, OR you compose an app by reusing proven business capabilities your teams created or wrapped from the outside when using modern app development platform.

Adapting to Change with a Build Approach: Examples

Humana in the US is a great story of an organization that has invested in composing their solutions and how that allowed them to adapt faster when the pandemic hit. The insurance provider invested in a modular architecture that allowed it to reuse the same modules they had created for a Pharmacy Finder app and quickly launch a COVID-19 Testing Locator App to their customers.

Another great story is Green Cargo. The logistics company needed to modernize its core system, which was sclerotic with legacy and SAP dependencies. But replacing the whole thing at once would have taken years, during which the benefits to the business would have stood still. So the company decided to use the OutSystems app dev platform to replace functionalities one at a time. In just one year, the company launched several significant applications into production, including a mobile app, a predictive maintenance app, and a customer portal.

The building at the Speed of Buy

The build or buy dilemma has evolved over the last few years: buying off-the-shelf isn’t entirely totally off-the-shelf anymore, and the more digital we become, the less off-the-shelf it is. As for the build, the idea that developing your software is costly and inefficient is based on old development models. Modern app development technologies have changed that.

As Paulo Rosado, OutSystems CEO said in a recent article,

“Only the businesses that overcome these outdated ideas and take ownership of their software innovation will come out ahead in this increasingly digital age.”

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If you want to learn more about how low code can help you adopt a successful digital conversion strategy, you can contact BAYPM. However, if you are more interested in learning about the pros and cons of leading low code platforms, check out Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise low code implementation platforms.