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The Main Trends In Software Development In 2021: Solutions For ISVs

The main software development trends in 2021: how many solutions for ISVs. The Covid-19 pandemic marked a real earthquake in software development, with the unexpected emergence of phenomena capable of drastically conditioning applications, especially in the enterprise sectors.

Remote working has accelerated the demand for SaaS applications. In the meantime, a race has begun towards software modernization, especially from the point of view of architecture, increasingly oriented towards microservices, capable of exploiting more consistently and compared to the past, the contribution of emerging technologies, especially as regards artificial intelligence.

Top Trend: The Development Of Cloud-Native Applications

2020 was marked by the pandemic emergency, which in March closed the offices, catapulting millions of workers into their homes, working remotely to ensure the necessary business continuity for their companies. This scenario has considerably increased the demand for cloud applications, especially due to the fact of having to make a virtue of necessity, anticipating and accelerating those projects related to digital transformation that sooner or later companies would have to face to ensure competitiveness and future, but which in the usual routines often ended up in a less priority condition than other activities, ending up being postponed to the following year so on.

The public cloud would see an increase of as much as 35% compared to the previous year, generating a volume of business of approximately 120 billion dollars globally. Regardless of the reference scenario, more or less oriented to remote work, companies would have learned a very hard lesson on their skin.

Today it is no longer conceivable not to seek a structure that is as agile and resilient as possible against those unforeseen and unpredictable events that could seriously jeopardize the survival of the business when all the technologies to react most effectively are present and available, even going so far as to exploit critical scenarios to enable new business opportunities.

The growth of public cloud infrastructures and consolidating the top positions for the AWS and Microsoft Azure ecosystems could close in third place in the 2021 revenue item. The SaaS and cloud platforms do not mark the end of the on-premises applications. Still, they can support them with many more agile and scalable services, even on the costs, compared to traditional solutions.

Among the most recurrent examples, we could mention the case of disaster recovery systems, which could find in the public cloud the most performing and economic environment to guarantee business continuity in the event of an accident in the data centers within the company perimeter. The percentage of companies that could opt for cloud solutions would even be in the order of a 20% increase compared to 2020.

The dizzying demand for cloud-native applications is reflected in the remarkable growth of exclusive cloud technologies, such as containers and serverless, which would be used respectively by at least 30% and 25% of developers, to the benefit of ecosystems that guarantee services and solutions to develop with these technologies, both to create new applications from scratch and to migrate legacy software in the company to the cloud.

Further confirmation of these assessments comes precisely from the conclusions of 2021. The cloud professions, particularly those related to container management, are the most requested in absolute terms in related technologies to the open-source world. This is far from a negligible event, especially considering that leadership in this voice had been monopolized by the professions in the Linux orbit for many years.

Software Development With Artificial Intelligence (AI) Functionality

50% of the interviewed sample confirmed that they have already tried artificial intelligence technologies within their processes, at least experimenting with them in a single area. The application areas are extremely varied and range from predictive maintenance functionalities of industrial systems to chatbot technologies and automatic suggestions increasingly widespread in e-commerce applications.

In particular, ISVs are discovering the enormous potential and usefulness of artificial intelligence in technological trends such as:

  1. Computer vision applications use image tracking systems to detect any routine anomalies, analyzing the continuous flow coming from the cameras. Such applications are seeing their increasing use, for example, in software against financial fraud;
  2. Thanks to the integration with CRM systems and online communication channels, companies can use the Big Data analysis functions relating to the interactions between users and their brand to obtain predictive indications useful to support decision-making strategies. In the marketing field;
  3. AI capabilities allow you to implement robotics applications that automate many financial, product, and manufacturing production operations.

This is to mention just some of the trends that in 2021 have seen a significant increase in AI functionalities within applications. Therefore, for ISVs, it becomes essential to approach AI technologies more decisively to understand how to implement and integrate the functions useful to their applications.

The Rapid Spread Of The Internet of Things (IoT) In Various Business Areas

Forecasts on how many billions of interconnected devices we will have in the world in the coming years are now being wasted. Without going into the merits of the abacus, it is enough for us to know that we are talking about billionaire orders of magnitude.

Business Insider expects growth that from the 8 billion IoT devices estimated in 2019 should reach the impressive figure of 41 billion already in 2027, when fast and broadband connectivity systems such as the 5G will enable the large-scale diffusion of cloud-to-edge systems, with the various architectural declinations that lie ahead at the IT level.

All this will generate an exponential increase in the data available for each company and the need to acquire, archive and analyze them. About what is expressed in the previous point, it is clear how technologies based on artificial intelligence, such as machine learning systems, will be a central element in capitalizing on the extraction of wealth from raw data detected by the sensors of IoT systems.

Developers must seize a series of opportunities in this scenario and translate them into concrete applications that can support company systems’ entire data life cycle. Among the business areas that should see a significant increase in IoT technologies, we find the medical / healthcare industry, the entire sector linked to industry 4.0 and the ecosystems of smart cities.

The Growth Of Progressive Web Applications

Progressive Web Applications would constitute the next big thing in software development, above all due to the general evolution of the user experience in the web environment, which sees the integral installation of external software less and less welcome in the experience economy of navigation, even in the case of applications with a recent conception such as mobile apps.

Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) saw their debut on Google Chrome and refer to web applications loaded like common web pages while behaving similarly to native apps, especially when used on a mobile device. Therefore, their nature is a hybrid between the traditional web page and the mobile app in the classical sense. Progressive nature is defined from user experience since it can add functionality to those found on a basic web page.

In the last year, the brands that have resorted to PWAs have increased by 134%, finding improvements in KPIs related to the engagement of their audience in the order of 137%, with peaks capable of even touching + 400%. Figures are undoubtedly impressive but intuitive if you consider that according to the global navigation data found by Google Analytics, there was an 80% increase in mobile sessions based on PWAs, with a 42.9% lower bounce rate. 

They are compared to traditional apps. With these numbers, ISVs can no longer afford to underestimate progressive web applications to create digital experiences capable of engaging brand users more and guaranteeing a better conversion rate.

Java Remains A Reference Programming Language For Developers

The typological growth of digital applications has led to the growing variety of programming languages, which developers are called upon to implement to write their applications. Years have passed, but Java remains the leading technology in this area for various reasons.

After rapidly spreading in the mid-nineties, Java has taken absolute primacy among software development platforms, thanks to its almost universal use in all business areas, thanks to its natural security features, which have convinced giants such as Amazon and Google to support it for application development. The use of Java is facilitated by the very high number of open source libraries available and is one of the most used languages ​​in the Android field.


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