Software Development Trends for 2022
January 06, 2022 / Katarina Rudela
Reading Time: 12 minutes
Changes in software development are generally more difficult to predict than in other areas of technology. This tendency is largely due to the combination of rapid advances in software and changing user needs. The number of innovations in software development was particularly large in 2021, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Furthermore, these changes provide the basis of continuing developments, especially in the short term. The most significant trends in software development that you can expect in 2022 include the following:
- Internet of Behavior
- Cloud technology
- Big Data security
- Continuous delivery
- Decision Intelligence
- Low-code development
Internet of Behavior
The Internet of Things (IoT) describes the use of physical objects to communicate with each other over networks, especially the internet. These objects contain embedded technologies such as sensors, processors and network connectivity, although these capabilities may not be part of their primary function. The Internet of Behavior (IoB) is an extension of the IoT and one of the most rapidly developing trends in software development. It will introduce a new level of personalization for consumers and businesses in the near future, helping them to achieve their goals faster and more accurately with many applications.
Personal and household devices with internet connectivity allow people to perform many routine tasks such as controlling temperature, ordering items and posting on social media without needing to use their hands. IoB devices capture this combination of automation and personalization perfectly, so businesses implementing these technologies first will remain ahead of their competitors.
Technology research firm Gartner reports that the IoB will track individual activities digitally for 40 percent of the world's population by 2023. For example, these devices can document purchases by using facial recognition technology to compare the purchaser with the authorized user's known image. The IoB can also influence behaviors in other ways such as their use by insurance companies to adjust premiums based on driving habits. Allstate and State Farm have already implemented programs that monitor driving speed and other activities. These programs are generally well accepted, but greater ethical concerns exist for expanding this application of IoB into other areas like social services, where personal behavior could affect a subject's choice of housing or schools.
The proliferation of cloud-based software will continue to gain momentum in 2022. Many organizations didn't adopt these platforms until 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on consumer preferences. These solutions have become cost-effective and reliable to businesses of all sizes, especially distributed cloud technologies that allow users to work remotely, even when they aren't connected to the internet. Cloud platforms allow a computer software developer to access data at any time and from any device, which is essential for the work-from-home (WFH) model of employment.
Cloud application development was already in full swing when the COVID-19 crisis hit the U.S. in early 2020. Data Centre Dynamics reports that this event further accelerated the transition to the cloud with a 37 percent increase in spending to $29 billion during the first quarter of that year. This trend will likely continue into 2022 due to the near universal need for off-premises technology services that are cost-effective, reliable, scalable and secure. The expected increase in spending on these technologies should come from growing industrial sectors, especially software development.
Organizations needing infrastructure such as computing, networking and storage were already looking for a variable-cost model before the pandemic. The most common solutions for enabling this transition are cloud platforms and pay-as-you-go services, typically in combination. The primary purpose for this strategy is usually to shift capital expenditures (capex) to operational expenditures (opex). A 2020 PwC survey shows that nearly 3/4 of all finance executives were planning to make their business environment more agile, making the cloud's flexible cost and scalability highly desirable.
The survey also examined the areas in which Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) were considering the deferment or cancellation of planned investments as a result of Covid. The following table shows these results:
The above results show that 83 percent of CFOs were planning to cut expenditures in facilities with 53 percent reducing operational costs. Less than half of respondents were expecting to cut costs in other areas. Most notably, only three percent of respondents were planning on reducing expenditures on cybersecurity. As a result, executives will be increasingly likely to look towards cloud-centered hybrid architectures for obtaining these services in 2022.
Big Data Security
Big data refers to data sets that are too large or complex for traditional data processing solutions such as relational database management systems (RDBMs). It can include data with an unusually large number of fields, which offer greater statistical benefits. It can also include data with a higher degree of complexity such as a greater number of attributes, often resulting in a higher false discovery rate during analysis. Big data presents a number of challenges for analysts, including data capture, storage, transfers and queries. However, these disadvantages are increasingly outweighed by the deep insights they can provide into an organization's data, especially when it comes from multiple sources.
A 2021 report by Zion Market Research shows that the global market in data security was worth $8 billion in 2020, which is expected to increase to $24.7 billion by 2028. These figures are equivalent to a compound annual growth rate (CTR) of 15.2 percent between 2021 and 2028. This report includes historical data from 2016 to 2019, with forecasts of data center security from 2022 to 2028 at both the global and regional level. It also discusses drivers and constraints on this market as well as the impact they will have during the forecast period. In addition, this report analyzes the opportunities that are available in this market.
The following chart shows the known and expected growth in the global data security market:
Note the steady growth expected in this market through 2028 in the table above.
The benefits of analyzing large amounts of data ensure that Big Data will remain a dominant trend in software development for 2022. However, this discipline will begin focusing on security in a way that it hasn't before, particularly with the development of new technologies. Cost-effectiveness and efficiency also remain major concerns, as will the development of new technologies to help organizations make better decisions with their data. These innovations will therefore include advanced measures to protect customer data against the latest hacking techniques.
A blockchain is a list of records called blocks that are linked together through cryptographic means. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, timestamp and transaction data, allowing them to be easily added to a blockchain. The hash logically connects the new block to the previous block, and the timestamp shows that the block's transaction data existed when the block was created. This chain-like structure allows each block to reinforce the ones before it. Blockchains are therefore inherently resistant to modification because their data can't be retroactively altered without changing all subsequent blocks.
The theory behind blockchains was initially described in 1982, although they weren't successfully implemented until 2017. Software developers are intrigued by their potential, but it's still too soon to determine how quickly mainstream adoption of blockchains will occur. Some startups are already exploring blockchain solutions, but most other companies won't experiment with them until their implementation becomes easier and the benefits more obvious. Blockchain implementations could become widespread by the end of 2022, largely as the result of remote working models and other business changes that are encouraging decentralized operations. Blockchains have already simplified transactions and increased their security in the financial sector, but they have the potential to enter other vertical markets on a large scale.
Gartner predicts that 90 percent of the current blockchain implementations by enterprises will require replacement by the end of 2022 if they are to remain competitive, especially in the area of security. This study also concludes that the value of blockchain technology will increase to $176 billion by 2025 and $3.1 trillion by 2030. The following chart shows these forecasts in greater detail:
The above chart shows how the value of blockchains will rapidly increase between 2025 and 2030. The dominating purpose of blockchains is currently digital cash, although this will be surpassed by transactions between companies by 2030.
Continuous delivery (CD) is an approach to software engineering that involves teams developing software in short cycles, the primary advantage being that developers can automatically release software at any time. It also allows developers to build, test and release software with greater speed and frequency. Furthermore, the larger number of incremental updates that’s possible with CD reduces the risk of introducing undesired changes in each version of the software. CD requires a straightforward, repeatable deployment process to be effective.
CD reduces the distinction between development and operations, allowing developers to deploy new code to production much more easily. This property makes CD an Agile software development practice that increases the efficiency of software development by deploying it to production when needed. In addition, CD allows developers to identify bugs and fix them more quickly.
Many companies are currently reducing their software release cycles, making it a strong trend for 2022. DevOps has been a top trend in software development for over a decade, but CD has only started to evolve in the last few years. However, it's likely to become a mainstream goal for many software developers by the end of 2022. The driving force behind this trend is CD’s ability to keep software deployable in a cost-effective, elegant manner as compared to traditional release reporting, which is generally slow and labor-intensive.
Decision intelligence is an engineering discipline that combines traditional data science with other disciplines such as decision theory, managerial science and social science. It provides a framework for establishing best practices in decision-making by applying machine learning (ML) at scale. The basic concept behind decision intelligence is that people base their decisions on their understanding of the way actions of fact outcomes. This discipline therefore includes the analysis of cause-and-effect and the visualization of data modeling.
Decision intelligence is part of the very recent trend towards creating techniques to help software make decisions in many industries during 2022, according to Gartner. For example, retailers can use decision intelligence tools to refine their brands' loyalty programs and optimize inventory for each store. Healthcare providers can also use these tools to make clinical decisions and coordinate patient care across multiple touch points.
The growing importance of decision intelligence lies in the greater use of software to make business decisions. Workflows are also becoming more complex due to the increasing specialization of individual tasks. As a result, organizations are more likely to use an artificial intelligence (AI) solution to enhance decision-making capabilities. Decision intelligence helps fulfill this promise by increasing the speed and accuracy of decisions.
Hyperautomation is the use of advanced technologies such as AI, ML, robotic process automation (RPA) and process mining to a greater extent than that provided by traditional automation. This trend was initiated by RPA, although this technology doesn't qualify as hyper automation by itself. The primary difference between RPA and hyperautomation is that hyperautomation requires a combination of tools and technologies to support a repeatable task, even if humans are still involved in this process.
Emerging technologies in software development will certainly increase the level of automation in this field. Gartner predicts that automated systems will create half of all coding by 2022, resulting in greater expectations from users regarding development times. Cognitive automation technologies that combine hyperautomation with decision intelligence are also part of this trend.
The following table shows the expected value of hyperautomation by process dependency and year:
The above chart shows a steady increase in the value of the hyperautomation market through 2022. Note that 95 percent of this market is dependent on a particular process, with process-agnostic software comprising the remaining five percent.
The adoption of hyperautomation is likely to proceed quickly once the time savings becomes clear to enterprise-level organizations. These tools can greatly reduce the time needed to complete a project because they can perform up to 90 percent of the development team’s work. As a result, developers can focus on the more challenging aspects of their work.
A low-code development platform (LCDP) allows app development companies to build code with a graphical user interface (GUI) instead of the traditional method of writing each line of code by hand. These app development services can produce fully operational applications by themselves, although complex applications usually require some manual coding to handle special cases. LCDPs significantly increase an application's time to market and allow people without specific training in programming to develop applications. Additional benefits of LCDPs include a reduction in the time needed to set up the development environment, train personnel and maintain the software.
LCDPs can greatly improve the life of an application developer and increase a company's business value by allowing them to build applications without writing code. An app builder simplifies the development process and allows enterprises to adopt software at a greater pace, but it also helps smaller organizations with limited resources to begin using software. LCDP is already used in three-fourths of new application development as of 2021, according to Accenture. LCDP platforms should largely overcome the current concerns of developing poorly designed or buggy software by 2022. Forbes reports that this approach will account for more than two-thirds of all software development by 2024 and generate $170 billion in revenue by 2030.
IT has always been a rapidly advancing form of technology, especially software development. The increasing reliance of organizations on their information they possess is quickly making it more valuable than their physical resources. The ability to derive insights from this data is particularly important for making better decisions and remaining competitive. This trend will also include greater data security as information becomes a more lucrative target for criminals.
Developing trends for 2022 also include various technologies for creating software more quickly and with fewer bugs. Shorter development times will also lower the entry barrier for organizations who might not otherwise be able to adopt a particular software solution. Finally, the overall reduction in cost of software development will remain another strong trend in this market for 2022.
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