Every business on the planet has become a technology business. Now, having been forced to change the way they operate during the pandemic, 75% of companies are busy prioritizing innovation in 2021. Tech leaders are banking on software to help meet new consumer needs, from greater digital security to lightning-fast load times. Fortunately, tough times inspire rapid innovation. If you want to adapt to—and capitalize on—rapidly evolving markets, here are five custom software development trends you need on your radar.
1. Site Reliability Engineering (SRE)
User experience is everything. And users expect your website and applications to be available at all times. Reliability is business-critical. Developed by Google a decade ago, SRE is an agile methodology that favors a software engineering and development approach to proactively root out operational problems, manage systems, and automate tasks. In short, SRE keeps you up and running and is essential to building scalable, reliable software systems.
Another fast-growing trend in software development is containerization, whereby software code (and its dependencies) are held in an isolated user space known as a container. Essentially a portable computing environment that runs uniformly and consistently when you move it from one host to another, it comes with a variety of benefits that include:
- Agile-friendly and easy to set up: The necessary developer tools for containers are universal and easy to use. Their superior agility enables DevOps teams to accelerate workflows and speed up the development phase to bring products to market more quickly.
- One server, multiple containers: Compared with virtual machines, which require their own sizable operating system, containers are small. As such, you can host one or many containers on a single operating system, all running independently of each other. And while virtual machines take minutes to boot up, containerized applications start almost instantly, giving you the speed users love.
- Cost-effective server efficiency: The fact a container doesn’t need a guest operating system or hypervisor results in speedy load times, scalability, and better performance. But because they use fewer resources, you also get to reduce server, licensing costs and trim overheads.
- Cross-workspace portability: While each container is created for one host environment, as long as another host supports the technologies, they’ll run seamlessly in any other location. This is increasingly important in digital workspaces where clouds, devices, and workflows intersect.
- Isolate and fix faults with zero downtime: Since containers exist as isolated units when one fails, other services remain unaffected. And because each module is simple by design, it’s easy to fix faults, make changes and run tests without downtime or the need to rebuild from scratch.
3. Cloud-native applications
When it comes to defining cloud-native applications, it’s less helpful to think about whether or not they reside in the cloud and better to focus on the technology. Cloud-native applications hold microservices packaged in separate containers, each performing a particular function independent of the others. This unitization gives developers masses of flexibility when experimenting and deploying services wherever they’re needed—for as long as they’re needed—and conducting repairs without affecting other microservices.
Cloud-native applications give you a way to build new applications quickly, optimize existing ones, connect them all, and ensure they’re responsive to an ever-changing environment to deliver services at speed.
4. Serverless applications
Success in this digital age means building, testing, and deploying applications before your competitors. Serverless technology frees developers from the need to factor in the complex requirements of an onsite server so they can concentrate entirely on churning out production-ready applications.
Serverless computing, otherwise known as Functions as a Service (FaaS), means handing over those pesky concerns about infrastructure—server availability, resources, security, and maintenance—to a cloud-based provider, often on a pay-as-you-go basis. And that’s great for business, not only because it keeps costs down but also improves performance and scalability. And developers get to do what they love most: take high-quality applications from idea to market as quickly as possible.
It feels as though blockchain has been around for eons after the initial cryptocurrency craze, but the opportunities presented by blockchain applications for business are only just emerging.
Blockchain is a decentralized, public, immutable digital ledger on which virtually anything—tangible or intangible—can be recorded, tracked, and traded. That includes orders, accounts, and financial transactions, but also contracts containing sensitive information, like those used by governments and healthcare providers. Blockchain’s enhanced security features are also being applied across the Internet of Things (IoT) to outwit hackers and prevent data breaches. But one of the most compelling uses of blockchain thus far is in the realm of healthcare, where it’s shown to cut costs, improve access to information, and streamline operations.
Time to embrace the changing role of software
As the world moved online during the global health crisis, tech leaders had little choice but to accelerate their digital transformation plans. Hot on the heels of 2020, with markets more competitive than ever and a host of new consumer needs to address, a culture of continual evolution can be the difference between life or death for many business. It’s little wonder then that custom software development trends in 2021 underline the critical role of developers in shaping our post-pandemic world. Only those who innovate will survive.