Software development is growing like never before. The smartest tech-minds and entrepreneurs are gravitating toward software, realizing its importance in the global marketplace and the excellent business opportunities it presents.
By its very nature, software is iterative. Therefore, it changes rapidly within months, if not years. This creates unique challenges for those in the industry. You need to constantly stay on top of the trends. This way, your startup or technology does not fall behind.
In this article, we will look at the future of software development 4.0, and talk about trends that are going to change the face of technology. This will enable you to adequately position your business and take full advantage of new marketplace realities.
Let’s get started:
1. Innovation Will Multiply
In the last 40 years, 500 million apps have been created. However, it is estimated that another 500 million apps will be created in the next four years alone.
But why is this happening? First of all, the number of people using the internet will double by 2025. Of course, they will be able to create things with fewer barriers and for less money than in the past.
The reality is that it costs 1000x less to create a startup today than it did just 20 years ago. For instance, instead of purchasing a fleet of computers for infrastructure, modern companies simply use the cloud, which has drastically cut costs.
The advent of crowdfunding also means that it is much easier for startups to obtain resources. Instead of finding investors (which are limited in number) and pitching to them, entrepreneurs can appeal to the masses and collect smaller sums from more people.
These lower barriers to entry will encourage more people to startup, which means innovation will be multiplied on all fronts.
2. Apps Will Get Smaller
Apps used to require large packages of data. Now, applications are bite-sized. Instead of needing all of the infrastructure in-house, they are communicating over APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) with microservices.
Teams will need to be prepared for this challenge of migrating over to microservices. Otherwise, they risk falling behind and going back to the monolith of traditional hardware.
In fact, there will likely be hundreds or even thousands of these APIs in each application due to the benefits of being in the cloud. As such, the actual data that needs to be stored in an app will shrink significantly.
All of the most famous startups are already using APIs to power their businesses and create portals for their business partners such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Apple. You have to ask yourself: “If it’s good enough for these tech giants, is it good enough for our team?”
3. Hardware Will Disappear
As time goes on, the need for traditional hardware will begin to disappear into the background. Instead of being central to the experience as it used to be, hardware will be merely a wrapper around the software, like with self-driving cars.
The most important part of hardware will be its size and form factor. The size of hardware has shrunk significantly over the years.
Cell phones are a great example of this. They have lost their physical buttons and became smaller, turning into merely a convenient way to use software. Now, something in your pocket can do more than an entire warehouse of supercomputers 30 years ago.
Instead of acquiring new hardware, which takes up space and requires payroll to maintain it, startups can stay lean and leverage third-party services like Amazon Web Services (AWS).
4. The Development Cycle Will Be Faster
Today, we know much more about software development than the pioneers who were creating software in Silicon Valley, or even the military, did several decades ago. By standing on the shoulders of these giants, software developers are able to take “shortcuts.”
We can now develop apps in days, and we can do it while being more efficient, without sacrificing quality or speed. The important thing to understand is that you can adapt to customer demand instantly.
If you notice a demand for a certain service, you can put your team on it instantly with lean programming. Have them deploy version after version and take it live, iterating and improving upon your process rapidly to get it right.
5. Quantum Computing Will Change the Game
Quantum computing has already been a topic of hot discussion. There are quantum-enabled computers that have already emerged. And they will change life as it currently is within ten years.
Quantum computers allow you to do certain things in applications that you can’t do with standard computing. For instance:
If done right, traditional encryption is very difficult to crack. However, there are still potential vulnerabilities for your data with traditional computing. Quantum encryption adds levels to the difficulty so that data thieves will have a near-impossible time accessing your software data.
Quantum computing is incredibly fast. In the next few years, it will likely enable the emergence of different software applications that are not possible today due to high-speed requirements.
Quantum physics works differently from other types of physics. The placement of quantum energy and particles changes more rapidly than anything else known to man. That means that one “location” within a quantum device can hold much more information, multiplying the amount of storage space possible for applications.
There are even some programming languages currently in development that help to program quantum computers, such as QDK from Microsoft. Volkswagen is a brand that is already using it for their traffic management programs.
6. The Software Will Be Proactive
Software will be instantaneous and, thus, proactive. AI (Artificial Technology) will actually be able to use previous data inputs to predict what a user wants. It will learn their preferences from the training data that it collects.
This training data only grows with time. By combining AI and Business Intelligence, companies will have more in-depth insights into their customers than ever before.
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and smart BI analytical software are some of the most important technologies driving modern business and production. We have already seen that AI is much smarter than before. For instance, AI is used to power testing automation and is present in more than 9,000 open source software packages so far.
One of the most exciting and profitable industries in the world is software. It has been responsible for building billion-dollar brands — and creating millionaires and even billionaires in the process. However, developing software doesn’t come without challenges.
There have been significant changes with hardware, software, and the technology behind these two dualities in the last 40 years. The entrepreneurs and companies that have been innovative and kept up with trends have succeeded, whereas those who got complacent have fallen behind, forgotten.
Understanding the current state and future of software development can mean the difference between your company’s success and failure. With it, you can implement procedures, plans, funding, and other adaptations to ensure better profits, industry leadership, and, ultimately, success for your business.
About the author:
Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows.
Follow him on @bmorepeters