As we enter a new decade, technology advances continue to gather pace, with software developers scrambling to embrace, enhance and innovate. Here’s our insight into the latest software development trends to look out for in 2020.

Back in the ‘80s, ‘Tomorrow’s World’ predicted that 2020 would feature wireless technologies and ‘smart’ homes – they weren’t far off. Unsurprisingly, they didn’t anticipate many other advances, mostly stemming from global adoption of the Internet and mobile devices. As society increasingly lives online, we now have an entire industry devoted to cybersecurity, we prioritise social media over social interaction, artificial intelligence is real, and virtual reality is um… a reality.

2019 was the year of 5G proliferation, TikTok teen addiction and conversations with our now familiar friend, Alexa. As the tech tsunami rolls on, one thing is clear – businesses need to stay ahead. From delivering exceptional customer experience to equipping staff to succeed, the right technology solutions are key. We asked our developers to predict which software trends would dominate in 2020. And here’s what they said…

Cloud services and Amazon Web Services (AWS)

With businesses storing and processing more data than ever, running physical servers on-premises is becoming less common. Cloud services have become the norm and this trend will continue in 2020. In the development world, cloud services enable the creation of lean, agile software, quickly updatable, easily integrated, highly secure and accessible from any location. We partner with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the industry leader, who will certainly continue to dominate in 2020.

Cybersecurity software and services

As hackers and cyber criminals become smarter and more elusive, the need for cybersecurity is greater than ever. Ensuring the safety of data stored within your web properties, apps and software platforms is crucial to protect your customers and your business. And with harsher penalties for data mishandling, the consequences of an attack or compromise could be devastating. The proliferation of cybersecurity experts is obvious, but we also predict continued growth in the sophisticated software and systems that power this fledgling industry. As breaches become more common, and personal information is published widely on the internet, we see the need for ever more sophisticated means of mining, alerting and analysing the breach data available, both from a risk mitigation and prophylactic perspective. Expect more industries to become involved in this endeavour, as advances in data analysis and cheaper storage make smaller players more competitive in this rapidly evolving space.

Analytics and deep data mining

Understanding and adapting to customer behaviour has long been key to business success. But with most buying decisions now made online, during interaction with multiple owned, earned or paid-for touchpoints, access to data is key. Data has become a prized commodity, along with the tools to analyse, predict and direct customer behaviour, particularly across e-commerce. We anticipate further growth in the use of analytics software and deep data mining to understand complex user interactions, inform marketing efforts, and drive digital engagement.

Immersive technologies

The use of immersive technologies has been gathering momentum, after initial adoption by the gaming, entertainment and education sectors. Now, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) are commonly understood technologies. As these technologies become more sophisticated, easier to access, and cheaper to implement, we will see usage expand to many other sectors, through mobile and web apps and custom software solutions.

Technology in sport

VAR is the buzzword (or should that be swear word?) in football, and the latest in a series of sporting innovations, following goal-line technology, rugby’s TMO, and ‘Hawk-Eye’ in tennis and cricket. Naturally, the US embraced similar tech long ago, with all major sports using video replay to aid in-game decision-making. While UK adoption is controversial, it’s here to stay. Moreover, data analysis and visualisation techniques will continue to pervade sport, with far-reaching implications for results, performance, strategy and equipment.

AI-driven software development

AI is transforming software development and its influence is set to increase. In addition to dramatically accelerating the development process, machine learning impacts the very way software solutions are conceived, though automated analysis, testing and code generation. Rather than explicitly coding for every possible outcome, developers feed data into machine learning algorithms, which are iteratively trained and continuously improved. Machine learning models produce complex and detailed outputs that often challenge human perspectives and consistently drive better software development.

Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are reliable, fast and engaging, combining the best features of websites with the function and usability of mobile, to deliver a seamless user experience. Developed using specific technologies across multiple operating systems, PWAs are accessible from anywhere, can be quickly downloaded and take up minimal storage space. They are also seen as future-proof; adapting easily and evolving with the latest technologies.

Low and no-code Development

Coding used to be the only way to develop websites, software and apps, but now programming language is being replaced with Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs). This simplifies software building, allowing you to quickly and easily visualise the overall look and feel of the finished project. While there will always be a role for backend development, this represents an important shift in the tech industry, and is projected to gather pace in 2020.

Social media

Social media continues to evolve at pace, with the continued growth of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and the arrival of new platforms like TikTok. Meanwhile, the surrounding software ecosystem also grows, as businesses scramble to improve social engagement, while extracting data to understand customer behaviour and provide better user experience. We predict the continued growth of software and integrations that provide the tools for businesses to harness social media.

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