Software Development Trends to note in 2020

Digital Transformation is constantly evolving; every year we witness how the digital realm is becoming pivotal to our lives. In 2020 we can definitely expect digital transformation is more than just a ‘buzz’ phrase.

We decided to look at the most popular projected software development trends for 2020 and it seems clear that the main ones are surely focusing on customer experience (CX).

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence has been the technology story of the 2010 decade; it was introduced to the public that machines can be intelligent, capable of thinking and learning like human beings. By conducting a brief research on the internet, one sees that AI is expected to play a big part in software development in 2020, and in general in the next decade.

In his Jan 2020 article, Bernard Marr states (Forbes, 6 Jan2020) that we will observe a continuous rise in research spending, development and deployment, while the incentives of rolling out AI-driven innovative software will also be increasing. This innovation will be looking to cover areas of industry, fields of science and our day-to-day lives.

The effect of data – especially how it is used in relation to AI – also needs to be considered.

Data gathering and usage has indeed been part of our lives for some years now. With the evolution of technology, software is being developed in ways that not only ‘read’ and recognise the available data, but they can offer solutions based on intelligence. There is a tendency for companies to turn to analytics in order to analyse the available data. Since companies are investing in analytics, they definitely should be investing in AI in order to process and analyse the data being presented to them. This can assist in putting the data to good use. Through the use of AI, companies are seeking to optimise their operations and create better user experience.

Blockchain

Nick Bawa (Covintus Inc. CEO & Co-Founder) provided a very simple explanation of what it means to be using blockchain technology: Blockchain allows for the secure tracking, recording and persisting of transactions, and unlike every other online transaction, blockchain requires no centralised database. Since there is no central database, hacking into a blockchain block wouldn’t result in stealing of any valuable information. The fact that blockchain keeps on drawing interest of enterprises allows room for additional evolution, meaning that enterprises will keep investing on the research, development and the deployment of blockchain.

It is expected that Blockchain will be more involved in the Financial Industry – Financial Services, to be more specific – which makes sense considering that the first form of Blockchain was through the famous digital cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.

It is important to note that Bernard Marr also states that blockchain can be used to build fraud-resistant clearing and settlement systems, smart contracts (digital contracts which are automatically executed on their own as soon as certain conditions are met), while it can also be used to speed up digital transactions.

But since Blockchain has to do with securing transaction records and keeping them untraceable, a lot of investment is expected to take place the following years, starting in 2020, especially since there is also the GDPR factor. In relation to GDPR implementation, a study has shown that blockchain technology can provide solutions for the data protection ‘by design’; it can be designed to enable data-sharing without the need for a central trusted intermediary, it offers transparency as to who has accessed data, and blockchain-based smart contracts can moreover automate the sharing of data, which reduces transaction costs. Due to GDPR, more and more enterprises will turn to blockchain as a solution, because it guarantees the untraceable transaction records, which is something that will seem more attractive to the consumers.

Progressive Web App (PWA)

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) is projected to be a popular trend in 2020 and the reasoning behind it is so simple:

“Progressive Web Apps use less data than a regular mobile app.”

PWA is a type of website that seems like a mobile app although it runs on a browser. It is designed to work in a browser for the computers, but run as a mobile application, something that benefits both businesses and consumers. A Tech Times article mentions that businesses can develop a PWA much quicker and get the same benefits they would get from an app; at the same time, consumers are able to interact with an app-like environment which not only loads faster but is also user-friendly. By turning to PWA businesses get both the ‘browser and the mobile app’ in one product.

The user-friendly experience offered by PWAs is expected to result in increasing the demand of such products and it is therefore predicted to be one of the major trends in software development for 2020.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The IoT is a network where multiple devices are connected to the Internet, as well as being connected to each other. It allows people to share data between them through this network.

Even though it has already been part of our lives the last couple of years (i.e. smart devices are considered part of the IoT), the high demand and use provide an opportunity for more smart tech to be introduced to the public. Think about it for a second; smart phones, smart fridges, smart TVs etc., were designed to make the consumer lives easier. It makes sense that more and more items (things) of our everyday life will become ‘smarter’ following the route that already exists with the smart devices. For example, an article in Business Insider mentions some of these applications that already exist:  devices for Smart Homes have already been introduced to the public (devices such as Amazon Echo, Alexa, Google Home, Apple’s Homepod) which can perform a variety of functions, or, Smart Watches that track your movement and sync with computers or smartphones to transmit the data collected. There is even an example of a Smart City (Barcelona) that has implemented multiple IoT initiatives which have resulted in enhancing smart parking.

The fact that the demand in smart devices is so high (especially considering their usefulness) makes sense that the Internet of Things, its research and development will be a major player in 2020.

The above are expected to be some of the software development trends of 2020. Others to note include 5G, WiFi 6, AR/VR and Cloud Services. Digital Transformation is a work in progress. It is evolutionary. Most of the trends are creeping into our lives and the fact that they continue to develop and progress is indicating that there is room for growth. Without any doubt, businesses will be looking into these trends to offer a user experience that will excel, while the engineers developing the software will be researching these trends to understand what can be improved and therefore offer better products than the ones currently released. An exciting year ahead!