Macro Trends that are Shaping the Future of Software
There’s no industry that moves faster than the technology industry. No matter what field you work in, the software is likely making an impact on your day-to-day tasks, and that software is continually evolving.
In particular, these four trends are shaping the future of how businesses and software are built.
01. Cloud-Based SaaS Services are Taking Over.
The transition to the cloud is in full force. Typical startups may rely on tens or even hundreds of SaaS services to support their operations. These include accounting systems, project management solutions, and internal tools to manage communication.
This is partly because these services are more affordable than building software. The decision is no longer build vs. buy – it's buying, then building extra components to fill in the gaps in the custom functionality your organization requires.
02. Progressive Web Apps and Cross Platform Development
The App Store and Google Play have given millions of developers the opportunity to distribute their apps. Smartphone penetration is high, but progressive web apps are on the rise. So, what exactly is a progressive web app?
Progressive web apps allow developers to build web apps that feel like native apps and can be saved to a smartphone’s home screen. The main benefit is that companies no longer have to build separate platforms for iOS, Android, and the web.
The next best thing are Hybrid applications, where a company may have a web platform and another hybrid application that covers iOS and Android. This introduces efficiency and faster iteration, especially for startups looking for product market fit. However, Hybrid apps are missing some functionality, such as native access to notifications.
Typically, blockchain is mentioned in the context of crypto, but the two are not interchangeable. Blockchain is a technology that enables transactions to be recorded across several computers on a distributed ledger. Popular blockchain applications include banking, logistics, and securing ownership of digital assets. Any system that benefits from a distributed system with built-in trust can be built on blockchain.
04. AI Makes its Debut
Sure, AI has been around for a while, but it hasn’t yet impacted the way people do their work. Currently, AI is in the specialized applications phase, i.e., diagnosing something specific with a machine learning model. We’re seeing an increasing number of SaaS tools utilize basic AI processes to help people improve the way they do work.
Many trends shape how software is built, but we chose our top five for this article. As we develop software in 2021 and beyond, we’re focused on building cloud-based SaaS solutions that drive engagement. For specific use cases, we build mobile applications natively via a Hybrid model, but our default advice for startups building MVPs is to build a single progressive platform that helps them get to product-market fit. If at that stage they require a custom or native setup, then we’ll build a native app. In a way, we consider the various app stores to be distribution channels that are beneficial for a specific set of use cases.